Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Oops, I did it again!

I ran across this picture and wanted you to see that this is indeed a common occurance in our household. This time, however, since all the paper was in the hall, I just scooped it up and trashed it and started a new roll.

We have been busy lately. I thought once summer ended, our calendar would slow down. No such luck. Our weekends are filled with soccer each Saturday and then usually some other event. Grace enjoys playing, but I don't think it will ever amount to anything more than just recreation (which I am secretly glad). She has been caught on tape running by us and waving at the camera, all the while the other team is scoring! That really made her daddy proud -- and speaking of her daddy, look who got in on the coaching action a couple of games ago.


By the way, I did get my menu planned for the week and went to the store today. This is the third week, now, how many times does it take for a new habit to be formed? I hope I'm on my way! Speaking of the store, as I was standing at the deli counter getting lunchmeat, Nate began screaming (out of character for him) and as I turned around and questioned the happenings, Sam explained that he had just bit him on the arm. This was just the beginning of the trip, but needless to say, I did get what I went for (it was a short list, thank goodness).

Now, as I sit here, both boys are in their rooms napping! I have fixed myself a sandwich and am hoping to get at least an hour to myself. Sounds nice, except I need to finish up a load of laundry from this morning, clean the kitchen, pick up the living room and finish my cleaning out of Grace's room.

Nate awoke early yesterday, but I let him just stay in his bed until I was ready to get him up. I guess for that, I got what I deserved. See, I went in and there was an awful smell -- yes, he had pooped, diarrhea, out of his diaper, down his legs, all over his bed. Yuck! Double yuck, that I didn't notice all of this until I picked him up and got it all over myself! Even after three babies, this still grosses me out. I guess it was time to change the sheets in his crib, after all, it has probably been at least a couple of weeks or possibly three (who's counting) since they were changed. What a way to start the day.

While I was trying to be productive this morning, the kids were watching t.v. (I hardly ever allow that)! Some movie was about to come on and I told Grace that if it was something inappropriate, she would have to change the channel. It ended up being a Garfield movie and they were so excited. They saw one once while we were on vacation. She said to me, "mom, the only thing bad about this is that sometimes Garfield burps." How lovely to my ears that she is still so innocent that this is cosidered a "bad" thing. Sometimes, I hate the t.v. I wish I could just get rid of it totally like McMama did with hers. I don't know if I could ever really do it, and if I did, it would have to be in the late spring/summer when all that is on is reruns or something.

Tomorrow is Nate's ear surgery. Please keep him in your prayers. We are to check in at 6:00 AM -- yes, that's right, at the children's hospital. Even though the surgery is relatively minor, I am very anxious about it. I am having a hard time with not being afraid that it might be the last time I ever see my child, which I know is probably normal after losing a child, but I still want to be at peace and not get so worked up. Hopefully, this will be the last surgery for a long, long time.

I really need to get back to my chores, as two little boys will be waking up before I know it. Have a great day!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Muffins and Makeup

Today was an early release day for Grace's school. I really think they are trying to keep me on my toes! When school is out early, the afternoon kindergartener's go to school in the morning along with the morning kids. So, not only do we have to get up and going earlier, but our bus number is different as well. On top of that chaos, today was Muffins with Mom day, where all the moms are invited to come and have breakfast with their child before school starts. Thank goodness Ed was able to go in to work a little later so he could stay with the boys this morning.

Knowing it would be an early morning for us, I made sure and prepped Grace for our busy day last night. Much to my surprise, she awoke extra early, got herself dressed and ready for school all by herself and came in and surprised me as I was getting ready. This is what she looked like!


I told her how beautiful she looked, then told her to go and show her daddy how pretty she was. Holy cow! Who taught this girl makeup application? Finally, after I came downstairs, I kindly let her know that her school did not allow girls to wear makeup. I washed as much of it off as I could. I then convinced her to change her clothes and comb her hair. She was so proud of her hair, as she even said, "mom, I even got my rooster tail to lay down".

She is growing up and becoming quite the little girl. I don't think that a career as a makeup artist is in her future, though!


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Teach, Your Children Well . . .

While Grace is at school, Sam has gotten quite helpful. He really is bored. I decided that it's never too early to teach them how to do the laundry. I have been blessed with a husband who's mother taught him to do laundry also, and I hope to pass that along to both my boys.

Who needs a gym membership when you can strap on an 18 pound pack and proceed to scrub the kitchen floor? I venture to bet that not many people still carry their almost 2 year old around in one of these! Nate has been very clingy lately, he just follows me around like a little puppy and whines. I usually can't resist picking him up and doing whatever it is that needs to be done. It does get quite strenuous at times, though!


Have a great Wednesday!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Meal Planning

Because so many are dying to know, I have again successfully planned another week's menu and have my shopping list all ready to go. We have a busy week ahead and it will be so nice to actually know each day what the plan is. If you would like your own menu planning ideas, check out http://orgjunkie.com/ and browse through all the menus posted there. How much easier does it get than copying someone else's ideas?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mid Afternoon Musings

Ever feel like a feminine napkin?

That got you looking, didn't it? Anyway, this is not going in the direction some of you may be thinking (clean up your minds - you know who you are!).

This afternoon, while trying to clean up the kitchen, including the floor, I was also feeding Nate a bite of peach yogurt each time he circled through the room. After about the 5th time or so, his face was getting sort of messy. Did I bother to wipe his mouth - NO! Instead, he must have felt the need to wipe his own mouth, all over my pants. Good thing I decided early on that I wasn't going to shower today.

All this, and my sick sense of humor really began to tick. Halloween is just around the corner - how about dressing up a little fancier than today, letting all my many small children rub their grimy hands and faces all over me! A feminine napkin -- I think I am on to something!

Ride, Sammy, Ride!

video

Sam is now able to ride his bike. I knew all along that he really could pedal, but he always seems to use his feet on his big wheel like the Flinstone's did. He now only wants to ride his big bike (thanks Aunt Wendy for the bike and Grandma and Grandpa for bringing it to us) and can go quite fast. He is not a fan, however, of his helmet and promises me to go slow without it! Where does the time go?

Busy, Busy

Yesterday morning we went to the community center for a Barn Yard Bash activity. Upon leaving, we needed to get lunch and hurry to get Grace to school by 1:00. Then, we had the nutrition/dietition appointment at 3:00. Then choir at church at 6:30. What a busy day! Anyway here are some pictures and videos of our day.
Yes, this is Nate eating glue from the bottle while I was busy helping make some of the crafts. I believe it is non toxic. No wonder he has trouble with his weight, he belly is always full of these other "fillers". He especially likes to munch on cat food while I'm not looking!

video

video

Houston: We Have Weight Gain


That's right, Nate has gained some weight this month! We have been in a little slump for the last three months and haven't had much progress, but this month the tables are slowly turning. We have a monthly visit from the nutrition/dietition gal from First Steps where she weighs and measures him and we talk about his eating habits and any other concerns. As I am not worried about the boy starving or anything, I am concerned about him having enough fat for brain development. While I am not worried that he isn't developing in a positive direction, we must be aware that he didn't necessarily start at the same starting line as others his age did, and therefore, we must do everything we can to help close the gap developmentally. Enough said, now, how about a contest? What is Nate's current weight? He is 20.5 months old and 30 inches long. Leave a comment with your guess.



Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Habits

Aahhh, once again, both boys are napping! And what am I doing, you ask? Let me tell you that I am soaking up every quiet moment present, indulging in a big bowl of Chipolte chips and guacamole. Something about the salt on their chips, it has a lime taste to me, and the guac - thank goodness the kids don't like it, so I don't even have to share!

Habits are really hard to break, but I think sometimes they are even harder to learn. You might think that while I have been doing this domestic gig for about five years now, I might have picked up some good habits along the way. Unfortunately, I must say that I have yet to really rack up a list of good ones. There is one that I am really trying to tackle of late. Let me explain it to you.

Scene: It's 4:00 p.m. and hubby phones home. "What's your plan for dinner?", he asks. PLAN?? I never seem to have a plan. So, for the next two hours, I elevate my blood pressure, scream a little more than usual at the kids, open the fridge and pantry about 20 times just to see that everything I could possibly make is still frozen, and then swear to myself that I won't let this happen again tomorrow. Then, I pick up the phone and call sweet hubby, and say ever so sweetly that I indeed don't have a plan and am having trouble coming up with anything. Would he ever so kindly stop and pick something up for us and I promise him this will be the last time!

I am tired of this scene and I am going to try so hard to change it. I have planned menus before, I have even been in a cooking group that exchanged freezer meals, but I have never stuck with them long enough for them to become, well, a habit.

Last Friday, when the boys napped (boy, you can do a lot when they actually nap!), I sat down and planned a menu for this week. I made the grocery list and all. Then I started to think that there has to be some tool out there to help me make this task easier. After much time spent at the computer, I came across this organizing site that posts Menu Planning Mondays every week.

Here, the author posts her own weekly menu, plus many readers (like 300 or so) also link their menus to this site as well. Most of them also include recipes. After browsing through many of the already made menus, all I did was copy someone else's menu, print any necessary recipes, and make my grocery list. Ta-da, it only took about an hour and it was fun to see what other moms are cooking.

So, today at 8:30 a.m., I already knew that I was going to make fish for dinner and I got it out of the freezer to thaw and I am set! Also, since I have a plan, I bought enough ingredients at the store to double the recipes for a couple of nights this week so I can freeze a couple extra dinners to have on hand. And the best part yet, I only spent a fraction of what I normally do when I go to the grocery store.

Biggest question now, is, how long will I keep this up? Well, I am hoping someone out there reading this will ask me how this is going every once in a while, just to keep me on my toes!

I must be going, Sam is starting to wake, probably needing to use the restroom, as I forgot to make him go before he went to sleep. Now there's another habit I have to work on!

Friday, September 12, 2008

This school thing is really getting to me, I mean, I just have been having trouble keeping on top of everything. Anyway, with school started, the kids also started back to children's choir at church on Wednesdays. This year, Sam is even old enough to go. His group is already singing on Sunday, so it should be entertaining to watch. While the kids are in choir, I have been attending a women's bible study at the same time. We are reading A Jewel In His Crown by Priscilla Shirer. I am really looking forward to it and hoping to learn more about letting God's love shine through me.

I also have been able to get both boys to nap this afternoon, which is only the second time ever since Grace has been in school. I am loving it! I have gotten 4 loads of laundry done and have even done some menu planning for next week. Now, if only I could make this happen every day . . .

It has been raining here for days. Sam woke me up this morning by singing, "the rains came down, the floods came up". He said he learned that in choir. He has only been two times so far, I'm not sure that he really paid that much attention! It was so cute nonetheless.

Grace is due home in a few minutes, and I must go and hide the small, but now empty bag of cookies I just had! Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Learning to Let Go is a Process

Check this out! In the five years I have had children, I have managed to keep the colors of playdoh from mixing. Today, for the first time ever, I allowed the kids to mix all the colors up! Yes, I'm one of those moms. Ever so slowly, I have been trying to learn to give up some of my controlling tendencies.

Also, note if you will the picture of Grace as she got ready for school today. It is hard to tell in the photo, but she has about 3-4 bracelets on each arm, a couple of necklaces, and she informed me that she also put on a "little" body glitter in addition to all the other bling. I did make her rub the glitter around her neck and face, as there was one big glob across her throat. I still don't let her pick out her own clothes, but I did agree for her to go to school with all her pretties on! She was so confident of herself and thought her jewelries were so beautiful, why should I take that away from her?


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Growing Up

Hard to believe my baby is growing up so quickly! Nate is 20 months now and has had a very busy last couple of months. He has learned to walk and climb and is getting around anywhere he wants. He has been a pretty good eater and is even beginning to use a fork to eat, even though he opted not to in the picture! With all of his great eating, he is still having trouble gaining weight. We are still bordering 18 pounds, and have gone 3 months now with no significant gain in weight. He is getting taller, so his height/weight ratio is decreasing. Not a great thing, but we are trying some new things and are monitoring his growth closely with the help of the dietition.

He is scheduled to get tubes put in his ears on October 1, which we are looking forward to. I think he has had around 12-14 ear infections already. The antibiotics do not work anymore, and we are choosing not to try them any longer. I am hopeful that once he has the surgery, he will be so much happier. He has been the most easy-going baby, but he last month or so, he has been cranky. I think he doesn't feel good most of the time. He is also cutting teeth, which doesn't make things any better. Speaking of teeth, he already has 12, and is cutting #13.

He has been impressing me with some of his developmental skills. He has learned to nest toys together, stacking them as well. He is also able to drop the shapes into the shape sorter toys, or put a ball into a round hole. He uses his finger to point to everything. He will now come to us and put his arms up wanting to be held. He will use the drum sticks to play the drum. He is also getting more and more verbal. He now can make the "B" sound and we like to think that his vocabulary is quite large. Ball, bus, bye-bye, bite, bug, boat, boy, just to name a few. Of course the sound he makes for all of these is "bah", so we just pretend that he is saying whatever is relevant to that situation! He is waving his hands bye-bye all the time, which is very cute. He has learned to climb onto the step stools just like big sister and brother and he thinks he is hot stuff. It was really cute the other day, Sam was teaching him how to wash his hands in the bathroom.

Time passes so quickly. I am sad to say that he no longer looks like a baby and is starting to look and act more like a little toddler. He is still my snuggle bug and I don't miss a chance to snuggle with him.

All about Me, Me, Me

I have been a very selfish mother. Even after I had Grace, I pretty much continued to live my life doing exactly what I wanted to do. I just brought her along. After I had Sam, things were rough. It was no longer about what I wanted to do, and things got a little difficult. I was forced to give up a lot. After some time, I eventually figured out how to turn things around so that my needs were met also. I figured out a way to justify watching HGTV during the day, because it is pretty much rated G and since there isn't really anything else for the kids to watch, figured out how to get the kids to let me be in the morning hoping to sneak in a few extra minutes of laying in bed, arranged playdates with MY friends and their kids, so that I could visit while the kids played and left the adults alone. Anyway, looking back at what type of mom I have been thus far, well, I'm not really proud of myself.

I have learned the really hard way, that the time we have with our children is very short. I am trying hard to not live in fear that today might be the last day we have, but that thought is always in the back of my mind. When I say that I want to live like there's no tomorrow, I don't mean going out and whooping it up.

I want my kids to know God. I want them to know that I love them. I want to watch them breathe. I want to snuggle with them in their jammies. I want to read books, or tickle, or play playdoh. I want to be engaged with them.

I am sad that it has taken me this long to finally "get" this. There will be plenty of time for "me", just later. Now is not my time. I have made many friends, who some are in different "places" than I am, and they are able to have more time for themselves. I have tried so hard to be there with them, and have struggled to keep up with all the activities. I am done with that. I am sitting this one out. I'm tired to running the race to keep up with everyone else, when I am failing my own family.

I think this is why I have had so much trouble with Grace going to school this year. To some degree, my time with her is less. I will not get these preschool years back, and I have robbed her of my undivided attention. By any means, I don't think my children are mistreated or troubled or anything, but I don't feel like I have been all that I wanted to be for them either.

I love all of them so much and I want to live my life with no regrets, therefore, I am slowly surrendering my selfish vices in order to fully be the mom I desire.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Who am I?

The next few posts will be a series of ramblings, as I try to communicate some of my thoughts about life after losing a child. First, I think I need to provide some of you a little background information.

Noah at 15 days old.


In January of 2007, we welcomed identical twin boys into our family, born at just 24 weeks gestation. After just 6 short weeks, we had to say good bye to one of our sweet boys, Noah. Nate remained in the hospital for 3.5 months before we were able to bring him home.

After experiencing any loss, there is a proper grieving process one must go through. It was very tough for me to properly grieve my child, mostly due to our family situation. We had two young children at home (3 year old and 1 year old), and we also had Nate, who was not out of the woods himself. Even after we brought Nate home from the hospital, our lives were very busy and I did not have a lot of time to work through my feelings about Noah.

Noah the day he passed.


Anyway, I found a doctor and began going to therapy. I continued to go for the next year. During that time, I was taking a couple of different medications for the depression and also to help me sleep at night. I enjoyed my time spent with Lily, and learned a great deal about myself in the process.

About six months ago, I sort of quit seeing the doctor, and without seeing her, I also quit taking all the medication. Probably not the best decision I’ve ever made, but it is what it is. She was wanting me to come about once a week and it was becoming very stressful to me to find childcare that often to go. So I quit.

Over the last six months I have done a lot of self analysis and reflection, praying, reading and working on my relationship with God.

I am a changed person. I have been waiting for the last 18 months for the “old me” to return. It has not. It never will. I will never be the same person I was 18 months ago. I feel like a misfit. I have a changed perspective.

My sincere apologies to the friends who have stood by my side through all that has happened and helped when no one asked you to help. I have been withdrawn from you, because I don’t feel like I fit in like I used to. It is not because of you, it is because I am a different person now. I am still discovering exactly who I am.