Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I haven't made leather shoes in a few months, but I have been meaning to post pics of the latest pairs I made and kept forgetting. Heather's post today reminded me to post my pics. Heather is the reason I got started on sewing leather shoes in the first place! Maybe in a few months I will be whipping out a pair for little Justus! I miss sewing but it's not something I have tons of energy for right now.
Monday, July 28, 2008
" Pshoo! Pshoo!" Shooting at Mama with the water pistol, only the pistol is actually pointing right at him!
He loves his dog puppet, which he puts on his arm and then says, "Wuff! Wuff!" Then he tries to make the puppet eat me or eat big sis!
Having both a boy and a girl is very interesting! They are very different just due to personalities but some things are very gender-specific too. Whereas Ali drug her little doll everywhere with her at 21 months and liked to play babies, Jeremiah drags a truck (twuck) or a ball (socca ball or ball-ee) around EVERYWHERE we go and the first thing he says when I come get him up in the morning or from nap is "TWUCK!" as he shows me his trucks for the hundredth time! His eyes lit up with ecstasy when I pulled out a new shirt from the thrift store that has construction machines on it! He said, "Ohhhhhhhh!"
In spite of his fascination with sticks, trucks, and balls (and recently squirt guns thanks to a friend's little boy) he is still my tender-hearted little cuddle bug. When I scold him (which isn't too often) he gets a very hurt, worried look and runs over to hug me. I have no idea where he learned this but he started saying "I wuv you! I wuv you!" when I'm upset with him or while he's sobbing after a light spanking. Sometimes he says, "Kisses?" and other times if I'm not scolding him but just ignoring him because I'm busy he looks at me with big eyes and says, "Mommy?" I know exactly what that look means and I turn to him and say, "I love you Bear-Bear!" and he cheerily replies, "Okay!!!" He just needs some reassurance that I'm happy with him. Though I love my kids equally their personalities bring a different dynamic into the picture. Ali seems to know how to push all my buttons effortlessly, perhaps because we are so much alike in many ways, and Jer seems to know how to diffuse my bad moods instantly, like his daddy does, and make me smile or laugh!
You may be wondering how Operation Invest-in-Alathia is going. It has been really difficult to do anything with her in the last week alone due to the fact that each evening we were attending 5-Day Clubs and it seemed like our days were so full there was never a moment when she was either a.) awake b.) alone and not running around outside with brother or the neighbors or c.) cooperative, not to mention that King Jo was busy this weekend with different things (caving, helping Jorge replace a major car part, caving again) so I didn't have an opportunity to take Ali on a date. I'm hopeful that we will get to do something fun together this week. We did make cookies, which she loved, and Frida enjoyed helping too. Frida and Ali were outside playing and I was supervising them and noticed Frida being naughty so I told Ali to come in and do cookies with me. Frida pleaded to be allowed to help and I wavered for a moment. On the one hand, I know it is one of her VERY FAVORITE things to do and yet I was already tired of dealing with her and didn't want her to spend too much time with Ali. But, you will all be proud of me (!) I put aside my irritability and kindly told her she could help make cookies if she was a good girl in our home instead of sternly ordering her to go home. The girls both had a blast and did wonderfully and I sent her home with a plate of cookies when they were done and told her playtime with Ali was over. *Side note* Later that day we found out Frida had lied to us about something and we were explaining to Ali that lying is wrong and she piped up with, "Frida doesn't get spankings when she lies because her mom doesn't have a spanking spoon!"
Operation Invest-in-Alathia is still very much at the forefront of my mind and though I daily seem to fail in my responses towards her and daily find myself exasperated and at a loss as to how to parent her gently, I continually "get back on the saddle" and beg the Lord for patience and wisdom in this! By the way, why is it that one's spirited kid is PERFECT for everyone else? We went to the dentist for their very first check-up ever today and I was nervous considering how some of our doctor visits have gone. But she laid in the chair perfectly, talked to the dentist like he was an old friend, and kept her mouth wide open the whole time, even when he was busy reaching for other tools and stuff! I was amazed! Jer did the typical one-year old routine of being scared and crying but his check-up was only a minute or two.
My silverware drawer was starting to look awful with odds and ends strewn about. I took a couple of small boxes out of my gift wrap stash and put sippy valves in one and clothespins (for closing up chip and snack bags) in the other. I weeded out a lot of rarely-used utensils and put them in a less-accessible cupboard, trying to keep this daily-used drawer more simple.
As you know, I've been madly cleaning, organizing, and preparing for the new baby. It feels really good to tackle all these "unfinished projects" and neglected areas of the house. I got most of the cabinets in my kitchen organized (a couple more to go today) and have been taking care of little piles of papers on my desk and dresser and other little odds and ends that get put off continually. I also need to clean out my Bible case as it is getting pretty cluttered with bulletins and sermon notes. Other areas that need worked on our the desk cubbies and under the couch (where I know stray toys are hiding!)
What are you working on in your home today?
Friday, July 25, 2008
It is truly, truly uncomfy to lie in this position when all your joints are sore anyway and your back and tailbone hurt and you're laying on a very hard surface and carrying lots of extra pounds. Whereas we normally can't feel baby body parts, when I'm on the board we can feel and see many things and his little round head is always right under my ribs. We've tried moving a flashlight down my belly and it's amazing to see how he truly responds to the light and seems to like it. If only he would follow the light......
Maybe we'll try classical music today...
Handstand-under-water pics to follow soon........(Just KIDDING!)
The only thing we may get out of this crazy exercise is the need to buy a new ironing board...
Thursday, July 24, 2008
If you regularly participate, be scouting for things to put in your boxes NOW. I have found brand-new-in-the-package matchbox cars at yard sales for a quarter which are ideal gifts for these boxes. Not only will it save you money to buy most of it in advance but it will save you the stress of shopping during the busy holiday season. If you have young children, this is a really fun service project for them to be involved with as they help you shop for things and pack up the boxes for kids their own ages who have nothing.
Diapers is a great example! The cheapest generics in our town are around $7 with tax. Thanks to shopping Walgreens diaper deals this month, we have gotten around 12 packages for $2 or $3 a piece! (and some of you with the extra coupons have gotten this many for FREE!) This package of LUVS was only $3 with my $5 off coupon that came in the mail. It took me about 30 seconds or less to fill out my address on the LUVS site that MoneySavingMom linked to and they sent the coupon within a week. Was it worth that 30 seconds to save $5? Absolutely! Is it worth reading MoneySavingMom for 5 minutes each day and printing off the coupons that apply to my area now and then? Absolutely! You only have to read the many posts under this thread to figure out how God has blessed us through couponing. I definitely don't do all the deals out there and have limited stores, and very limited coupons in our local paper, but it's still worth it to make this a part of my life. We have been able to bless lots of missionaries and friends with the excess (medicine, shampoo, toothpaste, etc.)
School supplies are on sale! I love stocking up! I use the glue (22 cents at Wal-Mart) for scrapbooking and crafts and the tape for wrapping gifts (3 for $1 at Walgreens.) I always like to have a stash of new crayons (22 cents at WM) for our travel bag, gifts for Ali's toddler friends' birthdays, or Operation Christmas Child boxes.
Freebies! With an internet coupon, the BIC pens were around 30 cents a package and the Kotex were free with a coupon from the paper (Wal-Mart). We didn't need Lamisil, but since it was $9 at Walgreens and I had $9 in coupons for it, I got it and plan to use it as a stocking stuffer for my dad or brothers for Christmas. The highlighters should have been free with overage, but I'm not sure if the cashier got all my coupons straight on that deal so I may have paid a little for them. The markers and gel pens are free-after-rebate at Walgreens this month! The sippy cup was only $1 after being on clearance and an easysaver coupon and it will either be a nice baby gift or something Justus can use eventually.
Since my mom is a teacher and my dad is notorious for losing pens, I plan to save some of these things for Christmas stocking stuffers!I got other things we needed to stock the pantry, and odds and ends I needed for my hospital bag or for around the house too. Shopping this week was BEYOND stressful! I guess my new rule of thumb should be that I only make the trip (30 miles) if my mom or hubby can watch the kids because it is seriously exhausting, especially in the heat and with a huge belly! Even if you try to do it in 2 hours it almost always takes 4!!!
In spite of the long delays in the check-out and the mix-up with some of my coupons not working (the Walgreen's register's fault), it was worth all the stress to get the good deals on things we really needed. I'm always amazed at how much I get from Walgreens for so little money. At one point the cashier was refusing to take both a store coupon and a manufacter's coupon and she said, "We can't just give you something for free!" I inwardly chuckled at that thought since I've gotten COUNTLESS things from there free, but I merely said, "Okay," politely and her manager came back a few minutes later and said they COULD do both coupons!
I'm hopeful that I won't have to shop in that town for a full month or two now that I'm stocked up on some essentials. Those of you with CVS or Walgreens right around the corner, you are blessed!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
This week I've been mulling over whether or not some of the things that bug us most about our kids are things we ourselves have modeled before them. It all started for me when I went on a lake trip with a friend and Ali began freaking out every single time a toy or shovel got in the water on the edge of the beach. She was going crazy and panicking about the toys floating away. Of course her little buddy decided to capitalize on the situation by throwing her floatie ring into the water just to hear her scream! I tried calming Ali down and the boy's mother tried convincing him to stop but at last he threw it a few feet out and Ali had a complete meltdown and went into screaming hysterics over her little $1 floatie! She was screaming in a bossy manner at my friend to get it and my friend was busy trying to make her son go out with her and get it and the floatie went a little further and further. Meanwhile, Ali's incessant screaming and crying freaked out the little kids, one of whom started crying too. Finally, my friend went out to her chest and got the floatie and her son got in big trouble for refusing to help her and throwing it in the first place. I tried calming Ali down and explaining that it wasn't the end of the world if we lost a floatie and she would be punished for such extreme hysterics if she did it again. I was emotionally worn down and embarrassed by her behavior and at a loss as to how to deal with it and with her. Later, chatting with that same friend on the beach I said, "I don't know why she's pulling this drama queen thing lately. She's paranoid about balloons flying away, her brother going close to the gate at our house, and always cautions me to be careful driving. I wonder if I could be modeling it or encouraging it?"
Then I got to thinking about how scared I am of the kids getting out on the street or running in parking lots and how often I backseat drive and tell King Jo to slow down or to be careful on my parents' somewhat rickety bridge. Am I modeling paranoa for my children? While I may not scream and cry tears, are my serious lectures and vehement warnings rubbing off in a negative way, making her scared of the world?
I've been dwelling on these thoughts this week and realizing that some of what kids go through is developmental, and some is just personality related. I can't live my life thinking everything my kid does is a reflection of my parenting or of me. This breeds unhealthy parenting and I mentioned that the book Scream-Free Parenting covers this and states that we aren't responsible FOR them but TO them. I have fallen in the trap of pride and perfectionism of being horribly humiliated and angry and upset when my kids have hit other kids or refused to obey or listen in public and I feel like everyone must think that I'm a failure of a parent or that I'm not doing it "right."
However, even if our kids are innately sinful little humans who often act against what we are training them in and how we want them to act, I think we have a huge impact on them through our example. How appropriate that my devotional reading for today, out of "A Mom After God's Own Heart," included this poem:
Monday, July 21, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Yes, I'm still wearing that same shirt (above) and yes I'm still cutting off my head in these since I look like an absolute zombie in all the belly shots that are taken of me! Maybe it's the fact that I self-time them all? I may feel really, really tired, but the photos make me look even worse than I feel!
I technically have a little less than a month to go but am hoping for 2 or 3 weeks! I will meet the Doctor this Wednesday (hopefully) who will deliver the baby as my midwife can't deliver anymore due to the fact that the OB she worked under moved away. I'm not feeling overly uncomfy or strained, which is so very odd since I think I was huge and miserable for the last 2-3 months of being pregnant with Jer. I sometimes wonder if Justus is incredibly small or worry that he's not healthy since he's not very active and doesn't cause me nearly the pain Jer did. Of course Jer was sunny-side up some of the time which could have been the problem! Jer caused me pubic bone dysplacia and an umbilical hernia, back pain, neck pain, as well as me being so enormous I couldn't seem to do anything, let alone roll over in bed without extreme effort and extreme pain. This pregnancy seems "too easy" beyond the usual fatigue. So far I've gained about 12 less pounds with this pregnancy than with Jer's.
Thank you SO MUCH to those of you who said you'd be praying for me because of my fear and gave me verses of encouragement for labor. I plan to print them all out and meditate on them and have a list for my hospital bag. Thanks to Adrienne in OK for typing out 36 verses of encouragement for me in a comment on that post! Wow!
Top Photo: Before
Bottom Photo: After
While my closet isn't nearly as minimalist as Crystal's, I did feel really good after going through it and getting rid of a couple of grocery bags worth of clothing I no longer wear. I still have what looks like a lot of clothes (and that's not even including my fall/winter stuff that's in our storage shed) but the various seasons and occasions of my life demand that right now. I have a maternity wardrobe, a nursing wardrobe, clothes for summer and fall and sweaters for wearing over dresses, clothes for a funeral, casual dresses, church dresses, etc. I also need to have more than a few outfits since I have a little boy notorious for wetting through diapers onto me and due to the fact that we share one washer and dryer with 14 other people in our building, we can't always do laundry when we'd like to.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Tonight I got a total of 29 items for $53. The total was well over a hundred but using my Safeway card brought it down to about $80 and I used about $7 in manufacter's coupons and then my $20 register reward coupon from last week. So, $53 spent, and out popped another $20 coupon for next week! I feel like I got some good deals this time on stuff we needed and will really use.
What did I get?
1 Chinese Dinner Kit Sweet and Sour Chicken
2 Crisp Crust Margherita frozen pizzas
8 boxes of General Mills cereal
2 boxes of Nature's Valley granola bars (hubby loves these for work)
2 boxes of Tuna Helper (can we say desperate and don't have energy to cook?)
2 jars of salsa
2 jars of Bertolli garlic parmesan alfredo sauce
2 bottles of salad dressing
1 large bottle of Palmolive
1 # cottage cheese
1 tub of Promise butter spread
1 6 pack of Scotch Brite dish scrubbers
1 package of mini hotdogs
I also bought a bag of Clementine oranges, some Ziploc BIG bags (which are on clearance and handy for storing baby clothes and blankets!) and some cotton swabs. These extra items added about $11 to my total, so I really technically got all of this stuff for about $40!!!
I wish they would have had the Sara Lee Bread at our store as it would have been nice to stock up on bread. Oh well, still some great deals and some easy fixes for those days when I don't feel like cooking (which is MOST days!)
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I overheard some ladies talking at swimming lessons today. One gal is about mid-fifties and works at a local public school. The other gal is about 40-45 and is due with her second child in less than 2 weeks and also works at that same school as a school psychologist. The first one was asking how much maternity leave the pregnant one had and saying she would miss her at work for the month of September. She made some comment about how the preggo mom would be "sitting at home enjoying herself" and then the preggo mom said, "It'll be so nice to get back to work. It's been nice having the summer off to do stuff and it's nice 'cause we can get out in the summer a lot but I couldn't be at home all fall and winter long. I'd go crazy. I have to work."
There I sat, feeling a little miffed and a little amused as I listened. These ladies, so typical of our culture, think being at home is "boring, unfulfilling, menial, and basically being lazy!" I chuckled to think how much work this mom will actually be doing once she has two little ones instead of just one to care for. I'm surprised to hear her talk about how her neighbor will be watching the kids all year, 40 hours a week, and how it's no big deal for her to drop her new, 2-month old off for the day and head off to work. I personally know the gal who watched her 2.5 year old daughter last year and I know that SHE was investing in this little girl as well as her own 3 kids and other babysitting charges, taking her to library, helping her go potty, running errands with her, feeding her, and watching her hit all the milestones while her mom was working.
How sad it is to see what a low opinion the world has of full-time mothers! I don't know about you all, but I'm certainly not bored and am busy as a bee! I think the sacrifices for staying home are infinitely worth it and that it's especially important in those early years. My parents drilled that into me as a kid. When my little brother would complain that we couldn't afford Nike shoes like his cousin wore my mom would say,"His mom works ALL THE TIME. You may not have name-brand shoes but you have a Mommy home with you all day." Years later, that cousin, who was raised by his Grandma and by daycare is now following in his mom's example by working all the time for material success and has a low view of family and marriage whereas my brother has forgotten about having Nikes and has followed my mom's example of pouring herself out for others as he evangelizes the lost in Honduras as a missionary.
While being a stay-at-home mom won't guarantee your children will be Christ-followers, I do believe it is a very, very important job with eternal significance and great fulfillment. While worldly women are chasing their own fulfillment in their careers and accomplishments, there are moms pouring themselves out to teach and to train their children in godliness and to "swim upstream" in our immoral culture. While there are days it might be overwhelming or days when we wonder if we will go crazy with screaming little ones or endless poopy bottoms, or days when going off to a job sounds nice, there are mostly days where I am so thankful that God has allowed me to be in this profession of full-time mommyhood because there is nothing I want to do more than this!
I guess I'd better finish this post so I can go put my feet up and eat Bon-Bons and watch soaps, after all, I'm a stay-at-home mom, isn't that what we do?
Here's what I got:
2 Packages Chex Mix
4 Betty Crocker Cake Mixes
1 Box of Cheez-Itz
1 Box of Jolly Time Popcorn
2 jars of Ragu Robusto Pasta Sauce
1 packet of Ragu Fresh and Simple Sauce
1 box of Raisin Bran
3 boxes of Frosted Mini Wheats
1 huge bag of Mission Tortilla Chips
2 large boxes of Kleenex
3 packages of Green Giant frozen veggies
2 containers (1 # each) of cottage cheese
2 bags of salad mix with lettuce, dressings, and nut toppings
1 box of Ziploc BIG bags (I wanted to try these and they were on clearance so I got them and love them for storing clothes and blankets!)
Total spent: $46. 79
Reward: $20 coupon off anything in the store for next time's shopping trip
So, in actuality I spent around $27 and got 26 items! Pretty good deals for our town! Woo-hoo! Can't wait to see what's on sale for the next week that are part of this same deal so I can use my $20 to buy more marathon items, thus causing another coupon to print off, etc. etc.
Monday, July 14, 2008
I've been laying awake at night trying to figure out ways to cope as these thoughts swirl through my head:
*What if I can't do this?
*What if I freak out and become a complete basket case/emotional wreck?
*What if I can't get a grip on fear and it causes labor to be even more painful with the whole fear/tension/pain cycle?
*What if my mom is out of town when she's supposed to be around to watch the birth and help King Jo coach me?
*What if they don't allow me drugs?
*What if they do allow me drugs and they make me feel horrible?
*What if I count on a pain-free labor with drugs and then the epidural doesn't take effect?
*What if I get there too late for drugs?
*What if the baby comes too fast like with Jer?
*What if I have to undergo natural again?
*What if I don't undergo natural, will my baby be lethargic?
*What if I hemhorrage again and lose consciousness?
*What if the doctor doesn't get there in time? (Since my midwife can't deliver anymore right now there are only 2 options for OB doctors in this town and I have yet to meet either one so I definitely don't feel comfortable with them yet!)
*What if something happens to the baby?
*What if our baby isn't healthy?
*What if this kills me and I can't be the Mommy of my children?
*What if I have to have a C-section like my Mom did on her 3rd?
*What if I don't make it to the hospital in time for drugs and yet don't feel I can cope without them?
Now I know these fears may seem silly in retrospect and I should just pull myself up from my bootstraps and trust in God's sovereignty because He will give me the strength I need for EVERY situation! Women have babies every day and I've done this before and will be fine, no matter what happens. His grace is sufficient. It's crazy because I WANT it to be time for the baby to be born and I want him out of me, but I definitely dread that quickl approaching day too. I know it will be one of the best, most exciting days of my entire life as I meet a tiny new treasure God has blessed us with. But my physical body groans in anticipation of the pain (which you definitely DON'T forget instantly like they say you do when you see the baby).
Here are some things I'm trying to do to get a grip:
Memorize Scriptures that will remind me not to fear, but to trust.
Don't think about it! A woman at church with 4 young ones said she battled fear too (who doesn't if you've had all-natural births?) and she said the key is to not dwell on it. This means I should cease reading Pregnancy Guides late at night that give me nightmares as they describe the details of labor, bringing back painful memories, and avoid surfing the net looking for birth stories, etc.
Build a prayer team. It was really cool to call friends and ask them to pray in the past when we've been heading into a birth and this time is no exception. I want no less than a hundred people praying for me when I go into it, even if I have to call every prayer chain I know and blast the news on my blog and facebook that I'm going into labor. You'd better believe that I will pray for you too, if you ask me to, when it's your turn to face childbirth! I have already started asking God to call my friends to pray for me on that day whether or not they even hear or read that I'm going to the hospital.
Think of what's worse! This may seem a bit twisted, but I promise you, it helps me! In some weird way, it's like being thankful for childbirth because it really is better than a lot of things. Call it perspective. For example, I could be having an infected wisdom tooth/root pulled again when the anethestic doesn't work, which is almost as painful as labor but without the reward of a baby! Or worse, I could have a kid that has cancer or have suddenly lost my spouse! I could be enduring torture or rape for my faith as our persecuted brothers and sisters in other countries are, or could be watching my children murdered or kidnapped. I could be dying young of horrendous injuries or be sentenced to prison for a crime I didn't commit, etc. etc. There are so many things in this life more torturous than childbirth that it is humbling to think about.
Please keep me in your prayers and ask the Lord to help me conquer fear.
Please share with me any encouraging Scriptures that come to mind for my situation.
Please share any tips you may have on getting through childbirth! (No horror stories please!)
I'm always blessed by reading the blog, Amy's Humble Musings. When she was battling this intense fear of childbirth recently when she was expecting her sixth, she posted these quotes on her blog, which I plan to carry with me to the hospital.
What is thy only comfort in life and in death?
That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ, who with His precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins, and redeemed me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me, that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must work together for my salvation. Wherefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me heartily willing and ready henceforth to live unto Him.
How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou in this comfort mayest live and die happily?
Three things: first, the greatness of my sin and misery. Second, how I am redeemed from all my sins and misery. Third, how I am to be thankful to God for such redemption.
~ The Heidelberg Catechism
Amy's Thoughts: Being assured of the greatness of my sin and misery is no problem right now. It wasn’t too long ago that women were grateful to make it through childbirth alive; now we all just want to make it through without too much pain. Times have changed. The good news, if it can be called that (since the Apostle Paul tells us that dying is gain) is that I’m not going to die—at least not just yet. The bad news is that I feel like it.
King Jo guesses the baby will come on August 14th. Talk about negative thinking! After all, I'm due the 18th and I was 7 days early with Ali and 8 days early with Jer! I personally favor the 6th of August. What do the rest of you think?
And while you are at it, how big do you think he will be and how long? Since I had one 7 # 14 oz. baby and one 7# 12 oz. baby both about 20-21 inches long I have a tendency to think Justus will be 7# 8 oz. and 20 inches.
One more question: What do you think we will pick for a middle name?
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I've been looking for another glass bread pan and $1 is a great price! I now bake in only glass since my metal pans have been leaving metal flecks on the bread loaves. The dishtowel is new and a welcome addition to my stash which is growing quite ragged after only 5 years of marriage!
A gift wrap stash extravaganza! I wasn't planning on buying this gift wrap (Shiloh and Amy laugh because they know my weakness for cards and gift wrap stuff at yard sales) but as I looked it over, I was surprised that a grandma would sell an unopened stack of 40 sheets of gift wrap when she obviously had lots of family she could have used it for on holidays. I asked her why she was selling it and she said she had too much and wouldn't use it and she was SO DESPERATE for me to take it that she said, "I'll throw in a bunch of other stuff if you buy the whole box for $2." So, I got 40 sheets of new gift wrap in 20 different birthday/Christmas/wedding designs, 3 new gift bags, 2 new packages of tissue paper, 2 new rolls of Christmas ribbon, 2 Christmas ornaments, a huge bag of new stick-on bows, fancy sheared tissue paper, a new package of Christmas goodie sacks, and a package of gift tag stickers. What a deal! I won't need anything for Christmas now as far as wrapping stuff goes; no matter what kind of deals Walgreens has on Black Friday! She also threw in a free new Nalgene-style water bottle she wanted to get rid of and gave Ali a free toy.
I didn't take pics but the thrift store had stuff-a-bag-for-$2 day which allowed me to get a lot of nice things for hardly anything! I got two or three sets of summer PJs which Jer needed, some socks for him, 3T pants for Jer for next year, baby clothes for a friend who needed some, shoes for Ali, baby towels for Justus, etc.
At one sale I went to a girl handed me a garbage bag and told me to stuff it full for $1!!! I had gotten there at the very end so I missed all the good stuff, but I saw the folks who had gotten there before me heading off with 7 huge bags full of girls' toys and stuff! I did find a bunch (10-15) of beautiful bow hairclips in a rainbow of colors so our bow supply is adequately stocked which is nice since Ali somehow managed to lose half of the ones I made a while back. And since that's all I could find to buy that I wanted she only charged me a quarter!
My very eco-conscious neighbor also started a Free Market every Sunday which is like a free yard sale in the park. So, there is no lack of clothing/toys/books, etc. in our town for anyone who wants it!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
It's almost like I've joined new ranks: The "I Have 3 Kids Club." There seems to be a realization among women that as you go up in number of kids you go up in some mysterious ranking in wisdom, experience, capabilities and possibly insanity? For instance, there is a mom who comes to swimming lessons who has 5 children, 3 of whom are in lessons, and two of whom are very young (one is still a nursing infant and one an active 1 or 2 year old.) I look at her and just think, "Wow! How does she do it? She must be soooo strong! How did she get through 5 pregnancies?" Moms like that are my heroes! Then there are the moms who have 10 or more kids and they boggle everyone's minds! Anyone who has had 2 kids knows the endless work involved and thus we have trouble comprehending how these moms do it! Anyone who has delivered at least a couple of babies and knows the pain involved in labor (especially natural childbirth) assigns respectful awe to women who have undergone that many, many times! And bonus respect points if your husband works a lot, is gone a lot, you had bad morning sickness or uncomfortable pregnancies, you adopted, or you homeschool or work full time! This doesn't mean moms of one or two kids don't work really hard. They work constantly! Yet, just as you build muscles with weight training and gradually add more and more weight, so also the more kids you have, the more disciplined you have to become as a mom and the harder you work in so many areas unless you want to live a life of complete chaos. Not only do you grow more as a mother and home manager with each child you have, you also learn to lighten up and relax on the things that aren't truly important. I get a kick out of Amy Scott's blog, www.humblemusings.com. Read her posts in the Babies category for some great advice on surviving life with 3 kids 3 and under. She now has 6 kids 10 and under, homeschools, and has a great sense of humor!
There is also a certain safety in talking with other moms who have the same number of kids you have. When I had one child, I sometimes felt like the ladies at church looked down on me in a child-like, head-patting way and were forever giving me comments like, "If you think motherhood is hard now, wait until she's mobile. Or wait until she's a toddler. Or wait until you have two, etc. etc." It was so nice to chat with my buddies who had one baby as well and compare our struggles and challenges and joys as well as discussing getting pregnant again and all of our fears and excitement over having #2 without feeling like we were wimps because we were plenty busy taking care of one baby. It's funny because now that I'm going for #3, most of the ladies in the church have no more advice to give since many people in our church have 2 kids. Those that have 3, or the rare ones who have 4, who give advice now pass it on respectfully as one warrior would to another and I welcome it gladly! And everyone and their dog feels the need to say to me, "You're gonna be BUSY!!!" Like I didn't know that and I like I'm not busy now!
Stay tuned in the coming months for updates on how we're making it work with 3 little ones! I have a feeling that I'll have a lot more energy than I do now; I've always felt better non-pregnant on no sleep than pregnant on a full-night of sleep! In the meantime, if you have 3 kids or more, please leave your Heroic Advice for me in the comments section!
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
The girls have abandoned their tea party. It's time to move in and chow down on this watermelon! (notice the watermelon seed under his eye!)
At Heather's request, I decided to do another kid funnies post!
Ali always asks me if she was in my tummy in the picture on my bedroom shelf. It's a wedding pic of Josiah and I. I always explain that back then we didn't have ANY kids. She says, "Where was I?" I say, "You weren't alive yet." She said, "Was Grammy babysitting me?" "No." "Was I dead?" "No, God hadn't made you yet! First people need to get married and then God makes their children." "Oh, okay. Now you have me and Bear-Bear and now we're married!"
Ali was trying to tell me something a neighbor had said to her the other day. She wanted me to be sure I knew who she was talking about. She described her to me as the red girl with the really, really big tummy! I'm so glad our neighbor didn't hear her since our neighbor wearing the red shirt is NOT pregnant!
Ali told Daddy she loved him and she wanted him to give his usual reply back. But his mouth was full of toothpaste so it sounded like, 'wwa wuv woo.' She said it again and he mumbled again. Finally in frustration, she said, 'Daddy! I want your mouth to say 'I love you!''
Ali ran into the hall in a panic one day. She didn’t realize I was watching them from the hall and that Jer was at the other end of the hall. She cried, “I can’t find Bear-Bear! He’s maybe killed!” (Can you tell we have given them stern lectures about what might happen if they go out of the gate and get in the street?)
There’s been a lot of saying sorry and forgiveness going on around here. I often hear little apologies going back and forth when the kids are playing. Jer is very quick to say “Saw-wee” and give gentle hugs if he does something mean or accidentally hurts Ali. Ali has some interesting apologies. One day she said she was sorry for breaking my pretty tulip and I told her I forgave her. She then told me she loved me too, and that she forgave me! She often does that! One day I heard her telling Jer in the bedroom, “I love you Bear-Bear. But sometimes I’m naughty and I shove you down.” Jer replied, “Oh-kaaaaay!” It was sweet!
Ali told me today that if you don't wear your seatbelt you die. But she said, "I don't die because I always wear my seatbelt!"
Ali noticed my cup of raspberry iced tea sitting on the table and informed me, "If you leave your juice out it will spoil. So, I'm going to drink it for you so it doesn't spoil."
Ali told Daddy, "When I get big I'm going to be a Mama and a doctor is going to put a baby in my tummy. But my baby isn't going to be Justus. It's going to be a girl."
Jer copies everything Ali says. One of their favorite things to yell with big smiles when Mama mentions a nap is "NO NAP! NO NAP!" He copied one of the neighbor girls tonight and now says "mucho" and it sounds so funny in his little baby-talk accent. They thought it was very funny and cute! Leave it to the second kid to have all the "naughty" words memorized thanks to an older sibling. He loves to holler for chips, candy, ice-cream, pie, cookies, etc. One of the neighbor girls taught Ali the word "Heck" so we've been working on training her NOT to say that. When I heard my little guy yelling "Heck! Heck! Heck!" one day, I knew Big Sis had been up to no good! Jer has also started copying Ali's routines. Tonight before bed, he was saying, "Taco! Taco!" I realized he wanted to be wrapped in a blankie taco like Ali is every night. He also says "Baby Duthis (Justus)" and will say this and point to my tummy, telling me he wants to kiss the baby bump at night like Ali does. One night when he was hugging/kissing my belly, Justus kicked his cheek and he got this big grin on his face, like "something is alive in there!"
Every day and usually every night Ali asks the same questions over and over. I've given her the answers a hundred times in several different ways. Her favorite questions are: Why did Auntie Kika get bit by a spider? Why did Uncle Goo Goo (Grant) fall out of a tree? (Good question, Ali!) Why did Rico (my dad's horse) get a sore on his leg? Why did Squirt (my mom's gerbil) die? Why did the boy who didn't wear his seatbelt die? (a recent car accident in our town where a man my age was killed.)
*Grilled chicken breasts (6 large ones). Chicken was on a good sale and I was using my folk's large, fancy grill to make supper for some cross-country bikers (friends of friends stopping through town for the night) so I bought an extra package and threw it on the grill at the same time and now have a bag of yummy grilled chicken to use for post-baby meals!
*3 bags of cooked mac n' cheese. I normally make the homemade kind but the kids enjoy the box kind too and it was on a good sale. So, for lunch one day I made 4 boxes instead of 2 and froze a few bags for quick lunch food for the kids post-baby.
*One large roll of yummy cookie dough. A new recipe I got from my hippie neighbor that is absolutely delicious! I doubled the recipe and froze half for some quick treats to have on hand.
*One bag of cooked brown rice. I plan to freeze more rice too but one bag is a start! It will be quick to reheat this in the microwave and throw some veggies on top for a nutritious lunch or dinner when I'm breastfeeding!
*Two frozen containers of Ravioli. I bought a 10# can at Wal-Mart since it was so cheap and froze two containers full as well as serving it for dinner and lunch the next day. It will do for a quick, kid-friendly lunch.
Goals for more meals/fixings:
*Get at least a few bags of bread dough in the freezer. Also some pizza dough for making homemade pizza. I would normally make the pizzas up completely (homemade frozen pizzas) if I had a big freezer to work with, but to save space, at least having the dough ready will save a lot of time for me in post-baby days.
*Get more mac n' cheese frozen as well as a few bags of cooked pasta this week.
*Stock up on canned chili, some canned soup, cans of Chow Mein, and frozen veggies.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
The fire trucks finish off the big town parade by spraying everyone down! This year was the wildest one yet as I've never seen the firetrucks go so crazy and have an all-out war of the water, causing the main street gutters to become flowing rivers of water! Getting sprayed feels so good!
The kids did well in spite of staying up really late two nights in a row and enduring 3 big picnics in 24 hours, tons of fireworks shooting off, and a huge parade and playing in the water at two of those picnics!
However, it can also be extremely dangerous! One piro-neighbor of my parents' shot off a firework that ignited the field that borders my parent's property. My dad's wood shop was just a few feet away from the fire! His shop is huge, and full of expensive tools and untold quantities of lumber he sells and builds with, and it's not insured! If they had lost the shop, King Jo would have been out of a job and my dad would have been hurting badly business-wise!
The firetrucks came immediately and got the 4 ft flames put out immediately. They said that had this occurred just 2 weeks later, when the grass was a bit drier, the shop would have no doubt burned to the ground.
After the fire was put out, the cops and my dad noticed that a portion of the fence was broken near there. From looking at the broken glass and the tire tracks, it appears that someone was driving fast down the alley towards my parent's property, saw the fire and was watching it on the left, and not paying attention, missed the corner and rammed into the fence, busting out their windshield. Since the fence-buster immediately drove off, they have no idea who it was. The screech of the car and the crash into the fence alerted my dad to the fire as he was working in the wood shop at the time. Also, one of my brother's friends, most likely the guy who accidentally started the fire who lives nearby, called him to alert him about the fire too and he woke my mom. All the neighbors came out to watch the firetrucks screaming over to the fire and many people thought the shop itself was on fire due to the amounts of smoke over the shop.
What an exciting 4th of July for my parents! On top of it all, my friend's dog bit my mom's hand during the big 4th of July parade because it got tangled up and got panicked. It bled a lot and freaked us all out but it turned out to be a small puncture. It turns out one of my best friend's kids, Elijah, got bit by a random dog at the parade too!
I got hit by a firework on the 4th, one of those flying spinners that flew towards my friend's house, bounced off her chimney, and straight at me, but I deflected it off my watch when I raised my arm up for protection, which caused my pastor to start calling me Wonder Woman. My watch is no worse for the wear and I'm glad we all made it through the 4th alive this year!