Friday, April 27, 2007

A lifetime ago

My MIL is in town visiting this weekend so I'm probably not going to be around much. I thought I'd leave you all for the weekend with this picture of me that was taken by my best friend's Dad when I was a senior in high school. He's an excellent photographer!

My dancer self talk immediately sees about 5 things I could be doing better...enjoy!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Toddler bed transitions

After 2 weeks and two nights in his toddler bed, my son is finally testing the waters by getting out of bed in the evening. I say testing the waters, but we are still so lucky since it was only last Saturday and Sunday nights that he's come out. Twice on Sat once on Sun. My hubby tells him to stay in bed which I back 100%. The one time I was right there when he came out I said that since it was night time he needed to stay in his room and that he could go to sleep wherever he was most comfy - for me that's my bed.

Saturday night we found him like this at 10:30 pm...

Sunday night he was sprawled out on the floor and last night he was in his bed with evidence that he played quietly before turning in!

For several weeks when we switched him from co sleeping with us to his own crib (about 18 months old) we'd find him asleep sitting up in the crib but were never able to get a picture of it because he'd wake up as soon as we walked in. I'm glad that he sleeps more soundly now! I'm also looking forward to having another little one in bed with us!!!

We would have let my son stay longer but we all started to sleep worse and worse and then he was waking up to nurse every 1.5-2 hours again like a newborn. We all were crabby and something had to change, my hubby would go in and parent him to sleep in the night, basically night weaning him. We all survived and with all the not going to sleep issues we had with him I'm glad that we've learned that we can't make our kids go to sleep. Even if we want them to -boy were there times I wanted- it's just not possible for a human to make another go to sleep!

This got long winded awfully fast - off on a tangent I went!

Tackles

First, the Make It From Scratch Carnival is posted over at Stop the Ride!

Since my house is pretty clean still I decided to tackle some projects this week. I went through my hubby's side of the closet and pulled out 14 shirts to give away. Most are from places he used to work or don't fit anymore - I go through my stuff a couple times a year for stuff to give away but it's been awhile since I've gone through Adam's stuff especially his shirts. So that can be added to the give away bags!!!

I also pulled out these three boxes of stuff that my Mom sent to me in 2003. I'd never even opened 2 of them they've just been moved twice and I keep saying someday I'll get to them. They were full of stuff that used to live on my dresser and memorabilia from grade school through high school.

For me I've got to be in the right mood to go through these types of things. If I'm in the "get rid of everything" mode I might get rid of some really great photos and if I'm in a "sentimental mode" I might have wanted to keep engraved glasses from my proms, or programs from plays that I went to see at neighboring schools!

I found some fun pictures that I'll share over the next week or so...you know the really embarrassing ones from 6th - 8th grade! I found Broadway playbills (some with autographs that I kept) and autographed New York City Ballet programs, photo albums from class trips to Philadelphia and chamber choir trips to England. Fun stuff. My Mom, God Bless her, kept newspaper clippings from each semester when they published the kids that made the honor roll (yeah, me the nerd).

I basically decided that if it was something I performed in and my name was in the program I kept it in one of the albums but everything else went. Also, just about all trinkets are in the give away or sell item. Extra bonus, my hubby had fun learning more about me - or the school girl me!

All said and done, I have a box and pile (mostly of sheet music from choir and flute) to sell or give away (to the left in picture). A huge pile of trash and one box of memories (on the right) to keep until the next time I go through it! Actually the one box I'm keeping is still about 1/3 empty so it's not even one box!!!! Yippee, I feel lighter already!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Taking Care of Our Precious Gift

The highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to man. Psalm 115:16

I'm sure you've heard by now that it's Earth Day on Sunday. I used to walk my dogs on horse trails that went behind a house we lived in for about 4 years. Each year on Earth Day or there abouts I'd take a trash bag and pick up along it and off it where kids had a hang out full of litter.

I'm sure I could find something to do around here too but I'd been reminded about making cleaners and detergents lately so I wanted to give it a whirl. It also didn't hurt my grocery bill to save the 9 bucks a new jug of Bi-O-Kleen laundry liquid would cost. (This brand is very eco friendly but the price of it is causing me to balk lately.)

I made our detergent for years but when I was pregnant with my son somehow I got out of the habit. I followed Stephanie's recipe that she posted on her blog Stop the Ride!. She writes a lot about being more frugal. For me being frugal and environmentally conscious can go hand in hand. If we are cooking from scratch it takes less ingredients to make the same thing as well as less packaging. Next on my list is her recipe for dishwasher detergent when I run out.

I've used vinegar as our fabric softener for a long time and it works great. I also recently bought those dryer balls that not only soften fabrics but decrease drying time (I'd say by about 20% give or take) so that is saving energy too. During the dry winter months some articles of clothing (hubby's pants, fleece jackets) had really bad static cling so I'd put 1/2 a dryer sheet in with only those loads and sometimes even use those twice.

This week in my cleaning frenzy I used diluted vinegar for cleaning most everything - from countertops to stubborn spots on those silly baseboards! I used a small sprinkling of borax on a sponge for nearly everything else that needed more scrubbing - tubs, sinks, toilets. It worked great and so much cheaper than buying different products for everything.

If you are looking for other ways to be more green you can visit Sara at Walk Slowly, Live Wildly. She is constantly making me think.

Also Steph from Adventures in Babywearing wrote a wonderful post about living greener too.

Yet another link to environmentally friendly cleaners.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Open House

I haven't written about it for awhile but our house has been for sale for the last 8 months. I really can't believe it's been that long and I'm still amazed that God has provided for us for these months! Well, we are having an open house on Saturday and I have been going crazy all week doing chores that I suppose all good housewives do on a daily or weekly basis.

Done:Cleaned all bathrooms, wiped baseboards, trim and molding, laundry is caught up and put away, house is clear of cobwebs, gardens are weeded, flowers are potted, window sills dusted, oven cleaned - self cleaned!, hubby touched up paint and has kept up with garage and lawn maintenance and dusted ceiling fans.

Still to do: vacuum, mop, ALL kitchen appliances, wipe kitchen cabinets and counters, put toys away and pack up a box or two of clutter type picture frames etc., sweep back patio and front steps, clean fingerprints off of windows - all while the tornado of two year old follows around "helping"!!!!

I think if we owned an RV or trailer thingy I'd be making us all use the toilet out there for the next couple days - maybe even just live out there so that this place can stay clean. I'm just SO not a super clean freak. I do like it when things are picked up but I could care less about a little dust on my baseboards or a cobweb or two here and there.

It's comforting to know that by Sunday it'll all be back to normal - and I'll be wondering if anyone who came through the house said " wow, look and those baseboards!"

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Spreading the love

BooMama is hosting a day today for Heather. Remember to go spread some love around over there today. Especially to pray for Heather and her family.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It's not a cap...

...it's a fedora!

Thanks to Minnesota Cuke!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Peaceful?

Thank you all for your potty training encouragement. Chocolate chips seem to have made me happier and clumsier (more on that later) but with everything else going on in the world it sure is giving me perspective. I am surely blessed! And my prayers go out to those affected by the horrifying events in Virginia.

Need a good laugh...

You know when you are helping your son put on his little tool belt but you don't pay attention to the precise distance between you and the island? Well, be careful or you just might blindly crack your head on the granite counter top giving yourself a golf ball sized lump just above your hairline. Yup I sure did, and I cried (LOL - but it really hurt) and my son grabbed around my neck and said "I've got you Mommy!" Which made me laugh!

Even still today was a wonderfully peaceful day around here until I read about what was going on outside of our little world. Crazy. I wish that people would grasp on to God instead of grasping a gun and taking others out of this world. It's just unthinkable.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Difficult Parenting Decisions

I'm not sure if I just over analyze everything or if my expectations are to high or if I'm just overly emotional from hormones. Whatever the case may be I'm having a hard time making decisions and sticking to them and also just accepting things the way they are.

Is it normal that everytime my son fails for me to feel that I've failed him in some way? Don't get me wrong I know that he MUST fail to learn and that is sometimes the only way he will learn things. Mostly with potty training this week we've fallen off the wagon so to speak. I'm pretty convinced that he just wasn't ready because if I didn't take him every hour - or even more often then there'd be an accident. I guess most of the accidents were because I'd forgotten to take him or been just about to take him and he'd tell me he was going. I'd say maybe 20% of the time he would tell me that he'd have to go and then we'd actually make it to the potty. (He did better with #2 than #1 only a couple of those accidents.) In three weeks, I didn't see much improvement in the number of accidents or the number of times when he'd instigate using the potty. I think it was more that I was training myself to take him every so often and then he'd go, but he still would realize it pretty much too late by himself. Maybe that's why I'd always feel like I was the one that failed? I don't know.

He'd have a day with only one mishap and I'd think yippie and then the next day would start off with 3 before noon.

He'd had a lot of changes this last week, he's been teething (2 year molars) for the last 6 weeks but now constantly telling me that it hurts with his finger on the new tooth (it is finally breaking through), he had a slight cold at the beginning of the week, he's moved out of his crib into a toddler bed (he's been a champ and he loves it, but still a change.) and he's had Grandparents in and out of town staying with us, with more to come in a couple of weeks. Am I just making excuses or like I said are my expectations too high?

I also don't want to crush his spirit...HE was interested and began this potty journey and I don't want to make him feel like he did something wrong that's why we're back in diapers. I'm glad that he wasn't feeling well a couple days because I used that as an excuse - with drinking extra fluids to fight off a cold. He seems ok with it now, he'll say Mommy going poo poo in my diaper or pee, etc. He still will go sit on the potty chair but I'm just hoping that I'm not setting him up to think that later when he is ready he can just have lots of accidents - which he cleans up with rags and piles everything in the laundry room - and then we can go back to the easier diapers.

Like I said I'm probably just being overly sensitive and he wasn't ready. My hubby thinks maybe pull ups or something like that might work better but I'm ready to give it another few weeks before we try anything again. Unless of course my little son wants to dive in. Hopefully this makes some sense to someone who can offer me some encouragement :)!

Who knows, maybe I'm just coming down off of an Easter sugar high, or from lack of chocolate chips (I used them for potty rewards along with stickers and singing!) I'm sure that some chocolate will help.....

Friday, April 13, 2007

My Son's Birth Story

I woke up this morning and realized that today was my due date with the baby that was lost. At our first ob apt back in September (10 weeks along) we found out that the baby had stopped developing at 5 and a half weeks along. I miscarried two days later.

It's been a long, hard, wonderful road since then. There have been many wonderful things that have happened to us, being more than half way through a healthy pregnancy tops the list! Knowing that God has plans for this child is great. As He has plans for all His children - but knowing that had our previous pregnancy gone to term this specific little girl coming in August would not have been created. She's quite a fiery little kicking kiddo already!

I've been meaning to share my birth experience with my son for some time know so I'm finally getting around to it!! Mostly it's excerpts from my journal.

One Sunday in August 2004 I woke up without much of an appetite - it was my due date, when was my baby going to come?!?! I had thought I was in labor four days before on Thursday but as soon as we got to the birthing center the contractions totally stopped. (Now having been through it I know that these were NOT the real thing LOL!) They did continue irregularly until Sunday.

That Sunday morning I went on with my plans, mending a frame with seashells on it that an Aunt gave us for our wedding and watching the women's marathon on the Olympics (Athens). As the morning went on the contractions got closer and stronger so I went upstairs to relax, I took a bath and shower to see if the contractions would stick around through that.

Adam started timing the contractions at about 2:30pm and by 4pm they were about 4-5 minutes apart. We spoke to a nurse from the birthing center and she said to call her again in an hour, that first baby's usually take awhile and I'd be most comfortable progressing at home a bit more. But by 5pm my nervous and anxious hubby was wanting to get there since some contractions had been 3 minutes apart. Having one of those big green exercise balls at home really helped relax me during this part of the labor and my "coach" made me walk up and down the stairs in between contractions a few times because I had read somewhere to stay active during labor...easier reading about it than doing it!!!

The tub at the birthing center was very relaxing and one nurse met us there but another was just coming on shift soon took over. Adam called nurse Hazel and Dr. Julie the "Dream Team" - remember the Olympics were going on and he's a basketball fan. They were also amazing and much of what made our birth experience wonderful. It was Dr. Julie's son's birthday so she brought us one of his balloons - so sweet! But I still felt bad taking her away from party and cake.

I spent most of the time after 6:30pm in the birthing tub. I just felt WAY more comfy in there than anywhere else. Adam sat right next to the tub and would rub me and tell me to relax and that I was doing great! Only once did I get a little feisty, my hubby can be a bit chatty and he started talking with the nurse and Dr about something non birth related and I told them all to SHHHH. I'm not exactly sure of the words I used but I'm sure I wasn't too pleasant ;)!!!!

Our birth plan was to have a water birth and it did work out that we were able to do that. *Here's where time gets fuzzy even in my journal entry from a couple days later* Somewhere around 8pm nurse Hazel checked me and I was fully dilated. She said I could push since I was feeling like it with the contractions while she went to get Dr. Julie. When she left Adam was begging me not to push during the contractions which was really hard because I was really feeling like itI needed to. I guess he didn't want to be the only one there to deliver him!

Then at 8:19pm in one giant push out came our beautiful boy all at once. It sort of shocked me because I'd only ever seen or heard of the head coming out first and then the body but apparently that's not always the case!

Dr. Julie picked up our little son and placed him on my belly and after a little cry he reached over and grabbed on to Adam's finger which we thought was the cutest thing ever. Love at first sight! He weighed 8 pounds 6 ounces and was 21 inches long.

I loved the whole birthing center experience, nurse Hazel was there to help me with nursing pretty much right away after he was born and she even gave us yummy muffins to eat and juice! We went home a little after 2am about 6 hours after he was born and it was so nice to eat some food and settle into our own bed. With our wee one in between us!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Remember to pray for Kelli and Heather. These women are an inspiration to me and I love how the blogging community comes together to pray for one another!!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Healthy Cookies

I'm as big of a cookie monster as the next person but I also try to feed my family healthy, home made food, and organic when possible. I found this recipe in my latest La Leche League magazine and thought it was worth a try. Boy was I right, my son devoured them and I didn't feel bad letting him have two or three at a time since they are so healthy.

They came out very cake like and instead of nuts I used raisins because my kiddo is teething and picks nuts out of everything lately. They were good but if you wanted them to have that "cookie crunch" I would keep the nuts in there.

Added bonus is that they can be made vegan too!

Oatmeal and Banana Cookies

Ingredients: * 3 Cups flour (I used half whole wheat and half unbleached) * 1 tsp baking soda * 1 tsp salt * 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon * 1/2 tsp nutmeg * 1 cup margarine or butter (softened) * 3/4 to 1 cup maple syrup * 3 Tbsp soy lecithin mixed with 3 Tbsp water - OR 3 eggs * 2 1/2 ripe bananas * 3 cups oats * 1 cup chopped almonds or pecans

Directions

Mix the dry ingredients together:flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, mix margarine, maple syrup, eggs, and banana until blended. Add this mixture to the wet ingredients and mix. Add the oats and nuts and mix well. Bake by teaspoonful on a cookie sheet for 12 to 15 minutes in a 350 degree F oven.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter!

Easter blessings to you and your family! Loves to all my family and friends scattered all over the globe!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Things I want to remember

"Tastes like good."

"Ha, ha real funny."

"You best, Mommy, you best!"

"that easier, try higher"

"serin" = raisin

Says, "Nank you, nank you, nank you" while taking some bows.

For about the last five or six mornings he wakes up in his crib and I hear through the monitor, "Mommy, go sit on my big boy potty chair!.......(slight pause)......oh, well."

Monday, April 02, 2007

I really wish I knew...

...who "Winkink" and "Woonkoonk" and "Wonkack" are. My son talks about them all the time. Sometimes they get to share snacks with my son and sometimes they have to sit in a time out- all his doing. The other day I even think one of them went to Heaven.

See while I was taking my blogging break our fish died and I explained (what I could) that the fish died and went to heaven to be with Jesus. (I'm assuming that if all dogs go to heaven then fish must too;).

Back to the other day, he was in the bathroom talking about Winkink and heaven and I went in and asked what he was up. He pointed down the toilet and said "Winkink down heaven with my fish." Something tells me I didn't do a very good job explaining things!!!!