Monday, July 12, 2010

Sign up to win a SoftBums diaper package from My New Life as...Mom. I've never looked closely at these before, but if you check out her review, you'll probably want to try them too!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Encouragement from an Unlikely Source...Myself!

I was flipping through my devotional journal the other day and came across this past really made my day as I've been having more and more days where I feel overwhelmed by all the everyday "clutter" of my life, especially as I get bigger and every chore seems to take longer. So here it is, I hope it can encourage other busy moms out there, too!

-Piles of dirty laundry means my home is filled with people I love.
- Meals to cook means we have food to eat.
-Toys all over the house means I have children who are able to play.
- Sibling fights means I've been blessed with more than one child.
- Exhaustion all day means I have new life growing inside me!

I'm sure there's lots more that could be added to the list...

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I'm excited (and slightly embarassed) to say that Addiecakes is actually getting the potty thing....FINALLY! I decided that it was time, at 3 1/2, to go cold turkey and take away the diapers (except at night) so I told her we were going to wash all the cloth and put it away for the new baby, and she was switching to underwear. The first day, there was lots of puddles on the floor, but every day has gotten better, and today she went 4 times on the potty all by herself, with no reminder from me! I've figured out that with her, I just need to put her in undies and let her do her thing...reminders frustrate and embarass her, she seems to prefer to sneak off and do her thing in private. The only accident she had today was at the store (of course), but she is still working on remembering to go when she's not near her potty chair, and figuring out how to use the big potty...I may actually get a month or two reprieve from diapers!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Can I Throw a Tantrum?

I'm mad right now....I really shouldn't be, but there it is. I am anyway. Why? Here's my day:

I drove to a garage sale out in the boonies this morning, thus, no cell service. I was out of contact with the rest of the world for about an hour. By the time I got service again I had a barrage of texts and voicemails....where are you? I'm trying to get ahold of you....I have babysitters set to pick up the girls at 2:00 so we can do something tonight for Mother's Day...great! I'd love to do something with hubby for Mother's Day! Problem: I have a doctor's appointment 30 miles from home at 2:00. Which I almost always have an appointment of some kind Friday phone calls back and forth, can the babysitters wait til I get back around 2:45...throughout all this my phone kept dropping calls as I was in and out of network. So we decide I'll get through my appointment as quick as possible and call babysitters as soon as I'm done to see if they've left yet. I rush through an appointment that really shouldn't be rushed, run out to the car to call babysitters to tell them I'm on my way, I'll be there around 2:45...too late, they are ready to leave town and don't want to wait. I'm already on my way out of town, having skipped the shopping stops I was planning to make to stores our town doesn't have, and skipped the bathroom break my pregnant self desperately needed, and frustrated that the babysitters couldn't wait half hour for me to get there. So now we are doing nothing tonight, I didn't get everything done today that I needed to, and I'm mad that I got my hopes up only to have them dashed. Okay, rant over...I feel better now:)

Friday, April 30, 2010

SodaStream Giveaway

I've entered to win a SodaStream home fountain machine at Thrifty Wifey. I especially like sparkling water, and would love to try making my own at home!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Today Wasn't Quite As Eventful...

8:00 am: Roll out of bed, pour 3 bowls of cereal, 3 glasses of juice, turn on Dora.
8:30 am: Wrangle a fit involving Goldilock's computer and uncooperative lap.
9:15 am: Phone call from my friend Julie. She and her daughter Kelsey are on their way over. Straighten up house (including piles of pillows and sleeping bags from last night's "slumber party") and get everyone dressed.
10:00 am: Julie and Kelsey arrive. Visit outside while the girls play in the yard.
10:30 am: Walk to the park and play until Goldilocks gets an owie needing "immediate" attention. Had disappeared by the time we got home.
11:30 am: Consolidate car seats into one van and head out to get lunch.
12:30 pm: Enjoy our lunches outside at the new patio table (Subway for us), and continue playing. The sandbox and kiddie pool were the big hits of the day, other than the sand-in-the-eye incident.
2:30 pm: Julie and Kelsey head out. Settle the two sandy girls in the chair with a movie while I vacuum the house.
3:30 pm: Back outside, it's just too nice out to stay in for long!!! Back into the sandbox/kiddie pool while I flip through a shade gardening book.
4:30 pm: Inside to get dressed for youth group/shopping with Grandma, and reheat leftover spaghetti for supper.
5:10 pm: Out the door. Drop Goldilocks at Grandma's to go clothes shopping while the rest of us head to church.
6-7:30 pm: Youth group. Explored the difference between reputation and integrity, recited memory verses (everyone earned a treat at Super America).
8:30 pm: Pick up Goldilocks and her loot. (No school clothes, but lots of fun stuff, ie fanny pack, purple sparkly sunglasses, dress-up skirt, melted hot fudge Sundae....)
9:00 pm: Get the girls into bed. They pass out pretty quickly after the busy day.
9:30 pm: Hang laundry on the line. It's cold outside now!
9:45 pm: Shower
10:00 pm: Fold laundry and check email while watching "Criminal Minds"

We miss you, honey!!!! Can't wait to see you soon!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

This One's For You, Honey...

Our day today:

6:30 am: Alarm needlessly goes off and Goldilocks wakes me up and drags me downstairs for breakfast.
7:00 am: Addiecake stumbles downstairs and requests that the next show be her pick. Goldilocks gets upset because she wants to watch Beethoven instead and proceeds to throw hour long "I want daddy" fit.
8:00 am: Figured out that my phone was magically fixed, allowed Goldilocks to call daddy, all is well with the world again. Finished watching Addiecake's choice and allowed them to watch Beethoven together so I could sack out for a bit after an exhausted hour of tantrum-wrangling.
9:30 am: Quickly get ready for Moms and Kids, straighten living room, fly out the door.
10-noon: MAKS. Breathe sigh of relief as someone else gets to enjoy the little darlings for a while:)
12:30 pm: Stop by Neighborhood Service Center to pick up box of food, let the girls each choose one small item to purchase (a tiny pony and an Aladdin book)
12:45 pm: Play outside. I chat on the phone and text Brandon while waiting to get ready for the dentist:
1:30 pm: Everyone's getting hot and cranky. Head inside to rest for a bit and brush teeth.
2:10 pm: Out the door to dentist.
2:30-2:40 pm: Back to back dentist appts for the girls. Goldilocks does amazing and gets her teeth cleaned and xrays done. Addiecake doesn't fare as well. After much enthusiasm to get into the chair, she decides to clam up and the dentist can barely get a look. Goldilocks gets a Dilly Bar for her excellent behavior, Addicake cries because she doesn't get one (she knew the consequence when she decided not to let the hygienist clean her teeth).
3:00-5:00 pm: Play outside, enjoy some sun with Sheila and Ingrid. Girls decide they want to swim, so I set up the kiddie pool and they splash around until they get cold and want to go in.
5:00-6:00 pm: Girls play with Sheila and her Ingrid upstairs while I fold laundry and clean the bathroom.
6:20 pm: Pick up Sydney (along the side of the road) and drop the 3 oldest off at the tanning salon. Pick up my mom and brother to go to Taco John's.
6:30 pm: Tacos and burritos at Taco John's.
7:30 pm: Home, pjs on, teeth brushed, tuck the girls in (letting them sleep in my room...Addiecakes in bed, Goldilocks on the floor).
8:30-9:30 pm: Up and down the stairs twenty times in between cleaning the house to put girls back to bed. Maybe this wasn't such a great idea...
9:30 pm: Sit down to watch The Little Chocolateirs and Criminal Minds.

Missing you! I know there's no way your day was as fun as mine:) Tomorrow Julie and Kelsey will visit and Goldilocks and I have verses to memorize before Cubbies/Youth Group.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Just When You Think You're "Over It"

Just throwing it out there that the next few weeks will be tough for me. I'm super excited for the blessings and miracles that my friends are welcoming this month, but it's bitter-sweet and emotional, too. So if you know me "in real life" bear with me. I've been dreading this month for 8 months, I'll get through it and be able to look forward again to my own happy blessing a few months farther down the road, but that doesn't make this month any easier...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

If You've Been Procrastinating...

making a pictorial schedule for your preschooler, don't wait, do it now now now. I've had this at the back of my mind for probably a year, but never got around to doing it until last week, after the most horrible day of parenting ever. I literally spent most of the day in tears, feeling like I was totally failing my 5 year old, who was totally out of control. Nothing I did or said could calm her down, she was being disrespectful, throwing things, calling me names, etc...and I just plunked myself down in the hallway and thought "There is no way I can have her home with me for another year. She's going to have to go to kindergarden just so I can survive, and her last precious months at home are going to be spent fighting." It made me think of the word "discouraged" could have put a picture of me next to the word in the dictionary and no definition would have been needed. I felt as if I had truly been courage had been completely stripped from me and I was terrified of what the next day, week, year would hold...

That night after she was in bed, I went online to look for resources and ideas for parenting a strong-willed child. I kept coming across the idea of making a pictorial schedule for their day, and being willing to try almost anything, decided to finally make one. The idea is that one reason or trigger for a strong-willed child is a feeling of lack of control over their day. When they have no idea what's coming next, or what their day will look like, they get very unsettled and emotional. I was skeptical, but figured, why not try it? I made a simple routine in Word, one for each of my girls since the younger one naps and the older doesn't. I used clip art to depict the activities, and wrote the words next to the pictures to aid in reading skills. Our schedule is very minimal, mostly without times, just a concrete order of our day. The next morning I taped the schedules up and showed Amelia how to use hers. It has been an absolute lifesaver. Every day she checks the schedule several times and lets me know what's supposed to come next. If she wants a snack but it's not "snack time" yet, I direct her to the schedule. She can see that it's not "snack time", but that after we finish "play time" she will get a snack. This has saved us so many fits, as she can see when "snack time" will be, and know that it is coming. We've also been able to get through many days in a row of preschool curriculum, whereas in the past three months we'd only made it through 6 or 7 days total.

Now bear in mind, I don't think this is an end-all solution. We still have our bad moments, and I know I'll still have days where I tear my hair out, but at least it's not every. single. day. There are days when I'm less consistent with the routine and the day falls apart a little. And most importantly, I paired our new routine with a lot of time on my knees (or in the tub, or lying in bed)in prayer for Amelia's heart and for wisdom and patience for myself.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

If You Want Me To...

On the way home from a long evening visiting family in the hospital, the song If You Want Me To sung by Ginny Owens came on the many of you know, the past six months in our family has been a roller coaster. An example of a low last fall is the death of my husband's Uncle Ken. His loss is still deeply felt, and no one has been more affected than Brandon's mom and grandparents. Today we visited Ken's dad, Papa Ray, in intensive care with complications from the same kind of cancer that Ken suffered from. While he is doing better tonight than last night, it's hard to see someone you love stuck in a hospital bed with a tube down his throat and machines all around...I'm so thankful for the ability to visit, and to bring the girls to cheer him up. It was Amelia who suggested we do a "Big Pray" and gathered us in a circle around the hospital bed to pray for his healing and comfort...anyway, back to the song. The Refuge played just the right music on the ride home. We were all pretty subdued, hoping and praying for a recovery and homecoming, but understanding the reality of the possibility of a different outcome. I was feeling sorry for myself, wondering why God would put our family in the position of worrying about yet another loss, when the song came on and redirected my focus:
The pathway is broken
And the signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to

Cause I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet
So if all of these trials bring me closer to You
Then I will go through the fire
If You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
When You lead me through a world that's not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'll never go alone...

I don't know why God has brought us here, why He has chosen to put our extended family on this path filled with illness and uncertainty, but I know He has a perfect plan for us, for Ray and Grandma Dorothea, for Brandon's family...and even though there may be moments of sorrow up ahead, I hold tight to the hope that God will heal Ray and he'll have many more years to watch my children grow, and hold the one on the way. And I hold to the hope that Ray has in Christ, that whatever happens in this life, we will all be reunited in the next.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Smart and Trendy Moms is giving away a gorgeous handmade onesie.

What's Keeping Me Sane Right Now...

1) Norah Jones, Train, and Fernando Ortega in the CD player rotation.
2) the girls' 7pm bedtime creeping closer and closer
3) my Spice Spice Baby candle
4) wool diaper covers
5) the toy fire truck that's keeping Adeline occupied
6) freshly mopped floors
7) Amelia's at my mom's for the afternoon
8) Brandon will be home soon
9) I won some reusable training pants today:)
10) dimples

Why is my sanity in question today? Yesterday was really hard, and today my mom took Amelia for the afternoon to give me a break while the young ones napped. Did they nap? Adeline napped while Justice was up, Justice napped for thirty minutes while Adeline was up...translation: no nap for me...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sometimes they really do hear me...

There are sooo many days I feel like a failure as a mom, like I'm not teaching my girls enough, like nothing is getting through to them...but it seems that just when I'm getting really discouraged, God works in my children's hearts at just the right moment to lift my spirits.

I've been struggling to teach Amelia obedience lately. She so often has the attitude that she is in charge, and I get so tired of telling her something over and over, or fighting over every little thing I ask her to do....the other day I asked her to bring something upstairs for me. Her face started to get "that look" and I reminded her how important it is to God that she obey her mom. Her face changed and she said "Just a minute, mom." and disappeared around the corner. I was about to go after her when I heard her whisper "Jesus, please help me obey my mommy." She came bopping back around the corner with a huge grin on her face and did exactly what I asked her to do, with a cheerful heart!

If that's not proof that God exists, I don't know what is...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Get a free frie and drink from McDonald's when you buy an Angus Burger. Print your coupon here.
Katydid and Kid is giving away a custom silhouette artwork based on your family's picture. These are so cute and vintage-looking, I'd love one for my living room.
Just for Me and You is giving away an adorable crocheted hat and diaper cover set from JoCo Couture.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Natural Baby Goods is giving away a Halo sleep sack.
Cheap and Creative is giving away an adorable burp cloth set from Trend Lab.

What I Love Right Now...

1) my brand new slipcovers that have remade my basement
2) sparkling water (almost completely replaced my need for diet coke)
3) getting newborn diapers in the mail
4) Bones Season 3
5) afternoon naps
6) pants that still fit at 10 weeks pregnant
7) the most amazing frost I've ever seen greeting me every morning
8) snowmen in the front yard
9) my new dayplanner
10) my girls trying to figure out the whole "baby in the tummy" concept...for instance, Amelia says we have to be careful not to squish it or it will cry

Monday, January 4, 2010

Forward and Back

I started blogging a little over a year ago, and though with the advent of a teen in the house and doing childcare for an infant four days a week it's fallen considerably by the wayside, it's nice to be able to look back on the past year and reminisce. I thought it would be fun to evaluate how I did on last year's "resolutions". So here they were...

*limiting the girls TV time to when they first get up in the morning, and right after nap--did ok most days, still working on it
*a planned activity every weekday (library story-time, arts and crafts, imaginative play, outside...something intentional that the three of us do together)--greatly improved but not where I want to be
*workbook time with Amelia on days she doesn't have speech or AWANA--ok
*some sort of work-out most days of the week (even 20 minutes on DDR, it doesn't have to be an hour-long ordeal)--did NOT happen and probably won't this year either
*take my vitamins every day--on track by the end of the year
*drink more water (I got a few stainless steel water bottles I need to use more)--check
*spend more time with God--very up and down
*plan and prepare healthier meals for my family, and be consistent about encouraging the girls to eat their vegetables--due to B's high cholesterol, I've worked really hard at this, and I think I'm doing great!

On the whole, I saw improvement in most areas, and I'm not going to let my perfectionism get me down. After all, 2009 was a rough year, full of change, hopes, losses, and growth...sometimes in the midst of life, your focus has to change for a while and you take a few steps back in certain areas. I'm looking forward to a better 2010, with more structure, less housecleaning and perfectionism, and an additional family member to shake everything up as soon as I start to figure things out.

So here goes, the goals for 2010...

*re-start the Answers in Genesis preschool curriculum and figure out if we should homeschool for kindergarden next year
*work on memory verses every day

*schedule quality time with God every weekday

*eat more fruit
*rest when I need it, even if I haven't achieved the Holy Grail of housekeeping perfection

*stick to an eating-out budget
*stick to our "money map" even when I really really really feel like remodeling the bathroom