Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow Day

Good morning all!

We have about 3-4 inches of beautiful white stuff outside. Ross is going to buy Alexis a sled this morning and we're going to take her sledding for the first time!

Not much else planned for today other than staying warm and doing some baking. I'm making a German Chocolate Cake for Dad since that's his favorite. I'm also going to make some cupcakes for all the kids and I'm going to throw in an angel food cake for the point counters in the family.

I've just about decided that I'm going to try doing Weight Watchers point counting all on my own. I've done meetings and point counting before and if I'm really good I will lose weight. Only problem is, I spoiled myself with WW online because it was so easy to use. I'm not wanting to spend the $40 a month right now to have that, so I'm going to see how I do with my book and slider card for calculating points. I've got to do something, I'm seeing all kinds of people talking about all the pounds they are dropping. And my pounds are just hanging on for dear life.

I'm also going to try to get an exercise routine going...that's one of my biggest struggles. I have a Bowflex Treadclimber that is collecting dust on the back porch. I'm hoping when we get the remodel done and it gets moved into the office I'll have an easier time using it. Right now, it's cold on the back porch and I don't want to take the girls out there with me, but I can't leave them unattended for that long and they don't always nap at the same time either. I do have some "Walk Away The Pounds" DVD's that I like, so that's what I'm going to focus on for now.

Hope you all enjoy your weekend!

Friday, January 29, 2010

How Does It Look?

How does my blog look to all of you? 

I was told that it was hard to read because of the background. 

On my screen it looks all pretty and the perfect size and you can't even see the borders of my background, just the color on the middle part.

Did you know that on some things you can hold down the control key and use your little rolly thing on the mouse and change the size of your font and background?? 

If my blog seems out of whack to you, try that and see if you can't get it to look a little better. Because I think it sure looks good sometimes! Not a super cute one like Chrissy's, but not bad for using freebies! =) (I'm totally jealous of Chrissy's fab blog makeover!!!)

Happy Birthday Dad

Today is my Dad's 54th birthday, so I thought I would do a little post in his honor. I am without a doubt a daddy's girl through and through.

Me and Dad
the day I was born.




 Daddy's Girl!





For some of you who are new to my blog, check out this post that I wrote about my Dad when I was 15.



Me and Dad
on my wedding
day.

Me blubbering after
Dad made a toast
at our reception.
 
Dad with Alexis and Isabel.


Dad with Alexis this past summer.

 He loves all 7 of his grandkids so very much! He is a great Papa! They all love and adore him! He loves to take the babies for walks and I get in serious trouble if I make a trip to their house and don't have the stroller. (We keep trying to convince him to get a double stroller of his own...maybe someday before we're done having kids!)

My Dad is the best ever and I love him very much and I hope he is having a great birthday in Honduras. I'm making his favorite, German Chocolate Cake, and us kids are going to Mom and Dad's on Sunday to celebrate with him. 

Five Question Friday

My Little Life

1. Would you ever vacation alone?
I'd like to say yes, I would. But, I'm afraid it would be rather boring if I was all alone sitting next to the pool working on my tan. I may appear to be an alcoholic if I'm sipping little umbrella drinks at 9am at the swim up bar all alone. So, no....I must have a buddy to go vacationing and have fun.

2. Do you go the speed limit?
I do now, but that wasn't the case in my younger years....
Over the course of a 2 year period of time I got about 5 speeding tickets. All from the wonderful State of Missouri's Highway Patrolmen. (They loved seeing me coming.) Not wanting to get my key's taken away, I did the (wait for it......) awful thing and hid it from my parents...oops! I then wasted enormous amounts of my hard earned money and "fixed" all of the tickets with those traffic lawyers that will get it reduced to a non-moving violation so you don't get points on your license.
I've gotten a total of 7 tickets and have been pulled over about 10 times.

3. Why did you start blogging/following blogs?
I was introduced to the blogging world by my cousin's wife Ashley. She looked like she had a lot of fun with her blog and it seems like a really neat thing to do to share with your friends and family. I am of course on Facebook, but I had a lot of family that wasn't and occasionally I'd send an email update out with a new picture of my daughter. But I thought a blog would be more fun. So, I started one of my own last year in June. I started slowly, because I didn't really understand the rules and what not. But now, I absolutely LOVE it! I love that complete strangers will stop by my blog and be thoughtful enough to leave me a comment to offer encouragement or prayer when I'm struggling. And I'm so blessed by some of the blogs I've found to read. It really is a wonderful community and I'm glad I'm a part of it.

4. Where do you shop for yourself?
Most of the time it's Old Navy and occasionally JCPenney or other department stores like that. Can't live without my hoodies and I like getting them from Cabelas or Bass Pro. I'm not a huge fan of shopping so it doesn't really excite me all that much. Now when it comes to shopping for my girls I love that! Just not for myself.

5. What was the song that you danced your first dance with your spouse to at your wedding...or...what song would you like your first dance to be to?
I'm really embarrassed to admit that Ross and I, neither one, can remember what we danced to. All we remember is that the song we wanted to dance to, the DJ didn't have. What wedding DJ doesn't have Righteous Brothers "Unchained Melody"?? I mean seriously, isn't that a pretty good slow dance song?





MckLinky Blog Hop

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Have A Confession...

I'm totally a Twilight junkie!
And I'm totally...
 
I've read all 4 of the Twilight Saga books.

I was not at the midnight showing of New Moon.

 But...

I'm seriously considering going to the midnight showing of Eclipse.

Laugh all you want...I know I sound like a silly school girl!

My mom called me a few weeks ago with a little tidbit of information. She said, "Did you know what the #1 girls name was for 2009? Isabella." I said, "You do know why that's the number one name don't you? That is the girls name in the Twilight books." She came back with a shocked tone and said, "Please tell me that's not why you named your daughter Isabel?!" I told her, "Rest assured Mom, that's not why we named her Isabel. Besides the girls name in the books is Isabella and she goes by Bella the whole time anyway." She was a little relieved, but she had one last thing to add, "I certainly hope no one every thinks that you named her after some silly vampire story."  =)

Here's one last thing for you:
 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fleece Blanket #2

I completed Alexis' fleece blanket tonight. It turned out great!



 Sorry for the poor quality pictures. I'm the loser who lost the cables for my camera to get the pictures to the computer. So I have to do the whole go to the store thing and get them put on a CD and then I can share them. When I need something instant, I use my phone, mobile upload it to my Facebook and then save the image on the computer and then you get it! That's a lot for such a bad picture don't you think?!?!

Out Of Control

This post goes back to some of the feeling I was having the week that I wrote this post. 

After I wrote that post, I was talking to Mom on the phone and was finally able to put it into words just what I was really feeling. Besides being discouraged.


I felt Out Of Control.

I've always considered myself to be a pretty together person, who could handle whatever came my way.


Apparently having children has changed that for me because I've never felt more Out Of Control in my whole life.

I look around my messy, dirty, cluttered house and I feel...out of control.


I see my daughter deliberately disobey me and I feel...out of control.

I look at the number on the bathroom scale and I feel...out of control.


I look at my husband and all the ways I'm not being a better wife and I feel...out of control.

I could go on and on about all the things I feel are out of control, but I think you get the drift.


I've been spending a lot of time in prayer the past few weeks. Something I'm ashamed to admit, I haven't done a lot of lately. And I'm sure that's why I feel the way I do.


So, here's to praying without ceasing and letting God have control of my life, because honestly, it was never in my control anyway. I just felt like I had a better handle on things than I do now.


Thank you to all my family and friends that I know are praying for me too, please don't stop!

Video Post...Have A Tissue Handy

A must see video:



Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I Want To Bottle This Stuff

Isabel has been absolutely delightful lately!

She has that giggle...you know the one. All the stuffed animals and baby dolls that laugh when you squeeze their bellies.

That cute adorable sound that you hear on recordings of a baby laughing.

That giggle that makes you smile no matter how bad your day has been.

Isabel could be the baby they used for those recordings! She has the most infectious giggle I've ever heard. It comes straight up from the bottom of her belly and the joy is just smeared all over her face when she gets tickled by something.

It is the highlight of my day to hear her giggle and she reciprocates by giggling often...long and loud most of the time.

She is the ticklyish (yeah, I know that's not a word, but I just made it up!) 4 month old I've ever seen!

She brings me so much joy, it's no wonder I so easily forget the pain of childbirth so quickly.

I wish I could bottle up her giggles and give them to someone who needs a smile because there is no way you can hear that and not be happier!

Here is a very poor quality cell phone video I took the other night. It's just a sampling of her giggles, she really isn't even going full blown like she sometimes does. Hope you enjoy!



On another side, unrelated note. This afternoon when she woke up from her nap, I passed her off to hubby and she squalled and threw a fit until I took her back and then she was all smiles again. It's nice to be wanted!

My Homeschooling Experience

I mentioned something about being home schooled in this post and Ashley asked if I would write a post about the pro's and con's of it. So here we go!

I did attend public school K-2nd grade, but my memories are pretty vague of that time. Starting in third grade my parents decided that they would be responsible for my education.


They had multiple reasons for this decision and here's the basics of it.
  1. They wanted to be able to give me an education that was based on biblical principles such as God being the creator, not evolution.
  2. They wanted to teach me about God and have that be a daily part of our studies, not something that happens in public schools.
  3. They wanted to have control over who and what was influencing me as well. Overall they felt that they could give me a better education and more one on one attention than I would have gotten in a formal class room setting.
I wouldn't change one thing about being home schooled or the experiences I had. However, I do feel "left out" on a few things, so I'm going to do a run down of my pro's and con's.


PRO'S 
  • I got to spend a lot of time with my parents which made our relationship strong (not very strong during some rebellious years I had from about 17-19, but it helped build the foundation for the relationship we have now.)
  • They got to give me an education based on our faith and beliefs. 
  • I feel like I got a better understanding of American History than most because we studied it from a Christian perspective and got to use a lot of curriculum that would never have been used in a public school. American History and the Founding Fathers was one of my favorite things to study about.
  • I got to have more hands on learning experiences. We would take a walk at the state park and it would become a science lesson identifying flowers, trees, birds and insects along the way.
  • We took a lot of field trips and visited historical sites all around Missouri.
  • Being with my parents so much and not having any younger siblings made me very well adjusted to talking and being with adults. Sometimes it seems like some kids have a hard time relating to and being with adults.
  • My education was personalized to my needs. If I was struggling in one area, we focused on it, or if I didn't need a lot of time on a subject, we just flew right through the material. I got to learn at a pace set just for me.
I'm sure I could go on and on, but this is what I can think of off the top of my head. Now for the flip side.


CON'S
  • I never went to a Senior Prom. (Did I really miss much though??)
  • I didn't participate in organized sports, but I have never been the athletic type so that didn't bother me.
  • I didn't have a big group of friends that were my age. (I did have a small circle of friends who were also home schooled and we were very close.)
I really don't think there are that many con's to be honest. I can share how I feel about things from my experience, but each child and family is going to be different.


For me, in hindsight, the only negative thing was that I wasn't exposed to a lot of worldly things and ideas. Now, that sounds great, but once I was exposed to it when I started working with the public, I kind of lost my way for awhile and did some things I'm not proud of. Things that will affect me the rest of my life. But, that won't be the case with everyone, that's just my personal experience.


A lot of people have concerns with socialization skills when you are taught in your own home and are not with a classroom full of other students. In today's society, there are plenty of ways for your children to develop social skills outside of the formal school setting. They have church, sports activities, dance, karate, you name it, and you can have your kids enrolled in something every night of the week it seems.


Another concern is that they won't be able to be involved in sports, but that's not really the case anymore either. Especially in bigger towns. There aren't many 5 year olds around here that aren't playing soccer or t-ball.


When I got to my high school years and the classes became more challenging, we looked to our home school community for help. I attended a weekly biology class with 8 other high school home schoolers. It was taught my one of the mothers in our group. It was complete with frog dissection and microscopes and the whole nine yards.


There are so many ways and options to make  your child's education all it needs to be.


Now, just as a disclaimer, I have nothing against a public school education, it still hasn't been decided what kind of education we are going to seek for our children. Just that there is nothing wrong with the decision to home school and it gives you so many more options that you wouldn't get in a parochial school setting.


We even had a graduation ceremony complete with cap and gown and senior speeches! I had my little tassel to hang from my rear view mirror just like everyone else my age.


I mentioned earlier that I felt "left out". What I meant by that is, when I was younger (16-18) and would hear kids my age talking about all the things they did and were doing, I sometimes used to feel the slightest twinge of jealousy that I couldn't be doing the same thing. I would see my best friends from elementary school and wonder what I would have been like in high school. Would I have been homecoming queen like Candi? Would I have been the pregnant senior waddling across the football field at the homecoming game? Would I have been one of the popular ones like most of my friends from elementary were? Would I have been a cheerleader? or a basketball star? Would I have been a little slimmer and not a little on the chubby side like I was?

The older I got, the less jealous I became as I realized that I really didn't miss much of anything, besides what can be a lot of heartache and stress on a young woman's life. As it was, I never went to a high school party and drank underage. I wasn't worried about having sex at 16 like so many other girls were. I didn't worry about who I had to impress on a daily basis, or who would be talking about me behind my back. Or who my true friends were.


For me, homeschooling was the perfect fit. I wasn't all that academically inclined so to speak. I could have been, but just wasn't the direction I wanted my life to take. I had dreams of becoming a wife and mother, not a super, career oriented woman. So, at 16 I finished my studies and began working full time, with no intentions of going to college. Was I capable? Absolutely, just wasn't for me.


At the time I finished my studies, a lot of my friends were taking the GED to have an official end to their home school experience and for college and job requirements. I already had a job and had no desire for college, so we didn't think it necessary. However, after working for 4 years at one place and working for a bank for 1 year, Commerce Bank asked that I take the GED as a requirement of my being hired to work for them. So, when I was 20, with no studying at all, I walked in and took the 2 day test. I've never been a nervous test taker, so it was not big deal for me. I ended up scoring just 5 points below what would have been enough to get me a college scholarship. Not too shabby!


Overall, homeschooling made me the person I am today and I often wonder how different I would be if I hadn't been home schooled?? I guess we'll never know.


I welcome your comments and questions on anything I didn't mention in this post.

Fleece Blanket

Last night, I became crafty for a few hours. That doesn't happen very often for me. I don't have a creative bone in my body. 

I saw the idea (I'd heard of them before, but ran across some instructions) on this blog. And I followed this tutorial to make it.

Here is the finished result for Isabel's:

Monday, January 25, 2010

My First Not Me Monday

 
 
 


Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

This is my first Not Me post. I'm going for a lot of firsts here lately, trying new things with my blog and life.

I did not let Alexis tear the house apart tonight while I cut and straightened the edges of the fleece blankets I'm making for her and Isabel...Not Me!

I did not put Isabel down for a nap the other day with a poopy diaper...Not Me!...really I didn't even realize, she's a sneaky pooper.

I did not one time put a bag of dirty diapers out on the front porch for the mongrel dogs that live around here to tear to shreds all over the yard and then let hubby clean it up...Not Me!

I did not let my daughter fall off the side of the chair tonight to teach her a lesson...Not Me!






Isabel's 4 Month Check Up

Isabel had her 4 month check up this afternoon and she is doing great!

She is weighing in at 15 lbs. 14.2 oz. and is 24 1/2 inches long.


She did get one shot, and she wasn't real thrilled about it, but she recovered nicely. She seems to be doing just fine this evening.

She rolled over for the first time back on January 2nd, but hasn't really done it much since then. The other night she was playing on the floor on her belly and when I glanced over at her, she was on her back. I got all excited and flipped her back to her belly hoping to "catch" her in the act. I was laying on the floor snapping picture after picture as got her arms under her and was cocking that hip to get ready to roll. Alexis of course wanted in on the attention and wanted me to take pictures of her doing silly stuff. I kid you not, I was sitting on the floor right by Isabel, but while I was focused on Alexis, she rolled again and I missed it. Oh well, she'll be doing it everyday all day soon enough!


Alexis is doing fine as well. She still has some really rough days, and I still get down about her behavior. But, I just take it one day at a time and we are moving forward.


Our remodel is coming along. All the tile work is done in the bathroom, and the linoleum is laid. Ross has most of the trim up around the doors and the base board trim laid. All the electrical is wired properly. Light fixtures are almost all up, outlets, switches and covers are in the workings now. We're hoping to be moved up there sometime in February.


The laundry is calling to me.....


TTFN! (Ta ta for now)......I may have been watching a little bit too much Tigger and Pooh with Alexis ! =)

Memory Monday

I'm going to copy off of Nel's blog and start doing Memory Monday!


Here are a few of my wedding pictures. I'll share more in the weeks to come.
 June 4th, 2005

Sunday, January 24, 2010

29 Random Things

1. I love eating peanut butter by the spoonful.

2. I miss my Pontiac Grand Prix a lot even though my new car has a roomier back seat for the kids.

3. I love Blackberry wine, I think it could be my new favorite adult beverage! (Don't worry Margarita's, I still love you too!)

4. My two favorite driving songs are "No Easy Way Out" from the Rocky IV soundtrack and "Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield.

5. I love being a breastfeeding Mom.

6. I have some OCD tendencies when it comes to my jobs. Not quite as bad at home though...not sure why.

7. I loved being a cashier at the grocery store and then at Sam's Club.

8. My favorite job is a toss up between being a teller at New Era Bank and my job in the accounting office at Sam's Club. I would go back to either job in a heartbeat. Can't wait for the day they bring a Sam's Club to Rolla.


9. I once worked 4 jobs at one time. New Era Bank, Country Mart, Fidgett's Unlimited (Salon) and Concession stand at the Civic Center. I was 18 at the time.


10. Ross was my first serious boyfriend.


11. I'm the youngest and only girl of the 9 grandchildren on my Mom's side of the family.


12. I love everything about tanning, fake or real. Can't wait to get into the tanning bed soon to get my base tan for the beach!


13. I've always liked the fact that my eyes are blue. And I love the fact that my girls got my blue eyes.


14. I am terrified of mice.


15. My natural hair color is dirty blond, but I love being a bottle brunette. 


16. It makes me crazy that Ross can't sit without moving his legs or feet.


17. I enjoyed smoking even though it's gross and disgusting and I never want to do it again. I still liked it and I won't say that I'll never have another cigarette again...because I might.


18. I didn't get my drivers license until I was almost 17. My parents weren't going to let me drive alone or with someone else, so I just kept renewing my permit until I couldn't anymore.


19. Every once in a blue moon, I wish I could be single with no kids so I could run around and do the winery thing on the weekends like so many people my age are doing now. But, that thought really only occurs like once a year for real. I'm totally happy being a wife and mommy!


20. I was homeschooled and did not go to college and I wouldn't change one thing about that. I've never had ambitions to be a career woman. I've always wanted to be a wife and mother. I've always felt that even though I may not have a lot of book smarts. I do have a good head on my shoulders and use common sense. Some folks don't seem to have a lot of that these days and I think it takes you a long way in your everyday life.


21. I have 6 different pairs of Old Navy flip flops from last summer.


22. I love to swim.


23. TiVo was the best thing ever invented for the TV.


24. I love to turn the radio up way loud and drive fast with all the windows down in the spring and fall! =)


25. I'm very unhappy that I haven't been able to tint the windows in the Impala yet.


26. I have all 10 seasons of "Friends" on DVD.


27. I never laugh harder than when I'm with my parents and Aunt's Donna and Debbie and Uncle's Cecil and Dennis.


28. I have very bad posture.


29. This is how old I will be on March 30th.

A Few Snapshots

Alexis feasting on some cold snow!
















Isabel snuggled up with her baby doll!

My big girl!



My Grandma with Alexis and Baby Brody


Say cheese!!!!!

 Isabel is so sweet after bath time. 

Alexis had some fun with makeup one afternoon!

 Happy baby!

 Crazy hair!


First night in her big girl bed (12-31-09)

Friday, January 22, 2010

New Name For Me Too

Tina's name change and blog makeover has prompted me to do one of my own.

When I started blogging I was pregnant with Isabel so then it was "Our Growing Family". Now, it's just us and we aren't going to grow for a few more years.

So, what do you think of the new name and description?? For those of you that know me well, I'm open to suggestions. And those of you that don't know well, but are getting to know me through my blog, please feel free to leave your suggestions too.

Five Questions Friday

I found this fun post on Fearless and Faithful's blog! And this is the original blog that she got it from.


I thought it looked fun and if you all agree I may continue to do it each week. I really do enjoy when my blogger friends share things that help me get to know them better.


Happy Friday to you!


1. What is better, growing old with out money or dying young and wealthy?

I'd so much rather grow old without money as long as I have my family with me. Ross and I talk about our dream home all the time if we had all the money in the world to build it. But, I'll be perfectly happy in our little house we have right now as long as we have each other and our kiddos.

2.
Who takes out the garbage at your house?


Most of the time it's Ross. If I'm forced into it I will, or if I get tired of waiting for him to do it.

3.
Have you ever had the same dream many times?


I used to have a recurring dream as a child. We were in our house on Davis Ct. and my bedroom was at one end of the hall and my parents was at the other and my brothers in the middle. 

I have always had an overwhelming fear of mice (I know it sounds super silly, but they scare the crap outta me) and in my dream our house is filling with mice. The only safe place is my mom and dad's bed and I have to get to it somehow, but there are mice everywhere. And I do mean everywhere, there isn't one spot of floor space that isn't covered with mice. The other bizarre thing about the dream is that my brother Brent is in it, not Tim and Matt, who are the brothers I lived with growing up. 

I do manage to safely get to my parents room and the dream ends. 

My other recurring dream involves a mole in our backyard trying to get me. I have to get to the back door to my dad to be safe from this mole and I just get to Dad's arms and the mole grabs my feet and they start playing tug of war with me.

4.
Can you play a musical instrument?


I did take piano lesson for a brief time and can probably peck out a tune or two, but that's it. Hoping that I can get the girls into piano and learn along with them.

5. If you owned your own store, what would you sell?

Baby stuff!! I love everything baby! I would want to have all the cool things that helped me when my babies are small.


Oh, and babies clothes are just about the cutest thing in the world!



MckLinky Blog Hop

My Favorite Artist...For Now

I'm loving Jason Aldean these days.


The Truth

Thursday, January 21, 2010

T-Mobile Mom to Mom Quiz

I kind of figured this is what I would get!


T-Mobile Mom to Mom Quiz: "
Take the fun, Mom to Mom quiz and discover your parenting style.

"

Breakfast

This morning when Alexis and I sat down to our scrambled eggs and bacon, this is what she prayed:

"God Bless Mommy's food,
God Bless Alexis' food,
God Bless Daddy's food,
and God Bless Isabel's food from Mommy's boob!"

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Busy Day

First order of business (after my shower) is to return the chicken that Ross picked up from Country Mart. He bought it yesterday (19th) and it's sell by date was the 17th. Not going to chance that one. I was rather hacked last night when I went to get it out to make some chicken noodle soup. Oh well, it got me up and going a lot earlier than normal today.

I'm not a huge fan of rising early, but I do get a lot of quiet time to myself since we are late sleepers all around at our house. Isabel has already been up for her early morning snack. No one should be up and about now until about 9 o'clock or so.

Alexis had a rough night last night. It never fails on the nights that I actually want to go to bed early, I can't get her down. Her bedtime has been around 11 for awhile now, but I'm trying to get it closer to 10 again. Last night I laid down with her around 10:20, hoping she'd be out by 11. Finally at 11:50 she was out. I like laying with her in the big girl bed when she goes to sleep, but if it's going to take that long we're going to have to come up with something else, but for now, that's what works.

At some point after Ross got home she must have woken up, because I heard them on the monitor and she was getting louder and louder wanting me. Finally he just let her get up and she came running in and got up in bed with me. Ross just went ahead and came to bed too. I didn't plan on letting her stay, just getting her calm again. Well, I was half out of it to begin with and when she got in the bed she just snuggled right up to me, I didn't move her to the middle. At some point she fell out of the bed, so after that I moved her to the middle and just let her stay all night.

For whatever reason, sometimes she sleeps really bad. Crying out a lot in her sleep. Just now, I heard her calling for me and saying she didn't want to wear socks. When I go to check on her she's always still asleep. These kinds of nights are long for me.

I asked Ross last night if he wouldn't mind to check on the girls in the night if they woke up. He said he would, but I'd have to wake him because he couldn't remember the last time he woke up in the night when they did. Most nights it's just as simple as giving Isabel her pacifier back or comforting Alexis for a minute. I probably wouldn't even have to get up for Alexis since most of the time she's talking in her sleep, but I do.

I was really hoping to get a full nights sleep with no interruptions, but since he never wakes up, it seems silly for me to wake him if I'm already awake. I may as well just do it myself and wait for the day that our roles are reversed. At some point in time after Alexis was weaned, I became the heavy sleeper and him the light sleeper. I can remember so many nights I'd be up with Alexis and she'd be just crying and screaming from gas pains (I wasn't aware of what swaddling could do for a baby when I had her) and Ross would ask me the next morning how our night was. I was astounded that he never heard us. But, one day it was like a flip was switched and I was sleeping soundly and never heard him getting up with her. It was wonderful, sweet sleep! So I'm really looking forward to that happening again!

I kind of got a little off topic, but that's pretty normal for me. When I sit down to write, my thoughts are never organized, so I just write what comes out. Back to today, after I get a fresher chicken, I'm going to make a big pot of soup and then head to my Mom and Dad's for the day. The pictures I had taken of the girls are ready to be picked up too.

Mom and Dad are heading off tomorrow for their annual trip to Honduras and they won't be back until the 31st, so Alexis and Isabel need some Grandma and Papa time. And I need some Mom and Dad time. I'm going to miss them a lot while they are gone. Hardly a day goes by that I don't talk to Mom and sometimes Dad too. I love that I have such a close relationship with my parents. I can call them for anything. I can't even begin to count the number of hours I've spent on the phone with Mom pouring out all my frustrations and worries and getting advice from her about one thing or another. It's great to have your Mom as your best friend!

Before anymore of this day gets away from me, I need to get cracking. Have a great day! Hopefully I'll have some free time within the next few days to get back to writing about some feelings I've been having along the lines of my Discouraged post. That topic isn't completely closed just yet.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Something That Made Me Smile

I saw this quote on Ross' Grandma's fridge yesterday and it made me chuckle, especially with everything I've been feeling lately.

"Lord, grant me the patience to endure my blessings."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Potty Update

Let's just say I'm doing lots of laundry.

She peed in her pants on Thursday.
Again on Friday.
And on Saturday...
and again on Sunday.
Pooped in her underwear on Sunday...
and again today.
Peed in her underwear today too.

Hopefully it's going to click soon.
We've spent a lot of time in the bathroom, but haven't successfully put the pee pee in the toilet yet.

Maybe tonight....or tomorrow.
Keeping my fingers crossed.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Taking The Weekend Off

Hi all. I'm taking the weekend off from blogging, I need a break to focus on all those issues I've been writing about. I still have a lot of thoughts churning in my head, so on Monday I'll be back to writing them out again. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, I know I'm going to try!

Potty Training

Here is one of my struggles/challenges/failures that I was referring to. I've completely dropped the ball on the potty training issue.

I didn't acknowledge some of the signs that Alexis was giving because I didn't think she was really ready. I'm not sure exactly when it started, but for quite awhile she was waking up in the morning with a dry diaper and going for long periods during the day being dry too. But, she also was not coming to me and asking to be changed either. She could walk around in a wet diaper all day long and it wouldn't even really bother her. Poop is another story, she lets me know when she's pooping, but if I even attempt to take her to the bathroom to try it on the potty she throws a huge fit. She doesn't like getting her diaper changed when she's poopy either. I keep trying to convince her that it will be a lot better if she does it on the potty, but so far, nothing.

We got her the potty chair Christmas 2008 so she could get familiar with it and get used to it in the bathroom and I was planning to start serious potty training when she turned 2 in April 2009. We started with some big girl diapers and trying to use the potty a few times, nothing happened.

I will be the first to admit and take all the blame for the fact that she still isn't potty trained. I used my pregnancy as an excuse, I was always tired and I didn't think Alexis was ready. So, we went all summer with us trying to go, but never getting results. She still to this day has never once put her pee pee in the potty. We have movies and books about going potty and the cool poster on the back of the door to put stickers on when she goes. We even resorted to bribery with no luck.

Then we decided that I would try and get her trained while I was home on maternity leave. Once again, probably not a good time. Her little world has just been invaded by this little person who takes up a lot of Mommy's time and attention. About 3 weeks after I had Isabel, I decided it was time to get down to business. I thought Alexis was adjusting well to having a little sister and she seemed to understand that when I was feeding Isabel, she had to wait until I was done before I could help her with things. So, we got the big girl underwear and tried that approach. Of course, we had a couple accidents. I started trying to watch really closely for the signs that she was ready to pee.

One evening I was giving Isabel a bath in the kitchen. Alexis had been in underwear for several hours and I had taken her to the bathroom multiple times with no luck. So, I'm at the sink bathing Isabel and Alexis is standing in the doorway and she starts doing the potty dance...you know the one...you start crossing your legs and squirming a lot. I knew she had to go, but I couldn't walk away from Isabel at that moment. I told her to run to the bathroom and get on her potty. She told me no, and I kept telling her several times to go in there and try to go and she refused. (One of the reasons for my post from yesterday, she fails to obey when I tell her to do something.) So you guessed it, huge pee puddle in the kitchen floor.

After that night we decided no more big girl underwear until you've at least gone potty once on the toilet or potty seat. That was back in October and now it's January and her 3rd birthday is just over the horizon and I'm feeling the pressure. It's coming at me from all sides. Ross is pressuring me, other family members "can't believe that I don't have that girl potty trained yet!"

Next brilliant idea, we are getting new carpet soon, so I'll take advantage of the situation and go ahead and let her have accidents since the carpet is getting ready to go bye bye. Yesterday we put the panties on and I made some lemonade and tea for her to drink because she'll suck those down until her cup is empty. We were all in the kitchen and Alexis walks out of the room and stands right in the doorway of our bedroom and pees. She didn't give any signals that she needed to go other than leaving the room

She was pretty upset about having an accident. I think I handled it well, I didn't get upset, I just rushed her to the bathroom and sat her down on her potty seat. I was rinsing her clothes and wiping her legs off and was planning to put a clean pair of underwear and pants on to try again. She wanted nothing to do with it, she brought me a diaper and asked me to put it on her. Not wanting to push the issue I let it go and figured we'd try again today.

This morning we tried again. I took her to the bathroom several times to try and go. She even went to town with Ross and we just put a diaper on over the underwear as a precaution. She hadn't drank much of anything yet today, so I knew she probably didn't need to go that bad, so I wasn't really taking her to the bathroom like I should have been. I did give her a sippy cup of tea so she would drink and hopefully we'd be able to potty before nap time.

I was sitting here at the computer putting a photo order in and she was standing right beside me. She walked over the the hallway mirror to look at herself (which she does all the time) and she peed. Once again, I didn't make a big deal out of it and told her it was okay, we'd just get her cleaned up and try again. Apparently Ross thought it was a big deal so (excuse the term, but it feels appropriate) all hell broke loose between me and him.

He informed me that I needed to devote 100% of my time to Alexis and turn off the computer until she figured it out. He told me that I wasn't taking her to the bathroom often enough because I was glued to the computer. (All the while he had just been sitting in front of the TV, not offering any help either.) Check out this post and this post and you'll understand more about my feeling on computer time vs. TV time. I'm the first to admit, I spend a lot of time at the computer, but during this season of my life I feel like the blogging I'm doing is helping me to work through my struggles and emotions and make me a better person. But, that's getting off subject. We exchanged some not nice words, including me telling him that tomorrow I would spend every second of the day staring at Alexis and I wouldn't feed Isabel or change her diaper or do any of those other things. After that very sarcastic comment was made was when we weren't very nice to each other and I went on about my day as did he, and we didn't really speak again until he was ready to leave for work.

She did let me put more underwear on her after that accident and I made sure she had a full sippy cup and I put down everything I was doing and devoted all my attention to her, so I would maybe pick up some signs she was ready to go. Nap time arrived and I wasn't going to risk her peeing in my bed, so we tried to go potty and then I told her we were going to put a diaper on for nap, and then underwear back on as soon as she woke up. I'm pretty sure it was only minutes after I put the diaper on her and laid down with her that she peed in it.

That's where we are now. What's next? I'm at loss...

Thank You

I just want to express my thanks to all of my blog friends who commented on this post. I really needed the encouragement and the knowledge that I'm not alone in my feelings. Also thanks to my family and friends for the phone calls, emails, and Facebook messages.

It's very comforting to know that I have people who are lifting me up in prayer as I deal with my current struggles and I truly appreciate the support. More to come about my other struggles. I've found that being honest on my blog and sharing so openly about my failures and disappointments is helping me to face my challenges instead of hiding them from myself. Not a fun process, but a necessary one to make me a better Christian, wife and mother.

Free Mouse Pad!

I just ordered a totally free personalized photo mouse pad. Didn't even pay shipping! Here is the link:
ArtsCow. You have to become a fan on Facebook and then share the offer with 6 of your friends and that will give you the coupon code for the free shipping. Follow the instructions given on their Facebook page to go to the website and create your mouse pad and get it for FREE! I'm loving all this free stuff! I got this from STL Mommy!

Swimming in January

This past weekend my Dad went gigging with Ross, his dad and their friend Ronnie.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term gigging (a lot of people think it's catching frogs), here's what it is. You take your john boat with your nice motor out onto the river at night. You have a light bar and gigging rails on the front of your boat. When you get to a nice little place in the river and start looking for fish, you just motor around with the trolling motor while the people in the front of the boat are looking down into the water for fish. Around here it's suckers that are gigged. They have these really long poles that have a fork looking thing on the end of it for stabbing fish. So, when they see one they ram this long pole into the water and try to "gig" a fish. It's a huge deal in this part of the country. The season goes from September 15 - January 31th. The men (and some women too) are just crazy for it.

Another part of gigging on the Meremac involves driving your boat very fast up and down the river looking for your favorite fishing hole. Since the Meremac is known to be pretty shallow the speed is necessary so your boat won't drag the bottom and get hung up on gravel bars and such. If your driving around slowly in the boat, the motor and the back end of the boat are pretty far down into the water, when you increase your speed the boat will rise up level and plane across the top of the water. There are a lot of twists and turns in the Meremac so you really have to be on guard at all times when you drive fast up the river going through one 90 degree turn after another and at the faster speed you have less control.

Like I said before, Ross is crazy about gigging, so one day I let him talk me into taking the boat out during the day so he could show me what it was like when they were gigging. Now, I've never been afraid of being in a boat or being on the water, but since that day, I've not been really pleased with boats on small rivers like the Meremac and Huzzah. We put in at River Bluffs which has a nice, deep swimming hole and is a relatively wide area of the river. Normally they go down river, but that day Ross wanted to go up. He had never actually driven the boat up and he wanted to check out a spot they wanted to try to gig at. So, off we go, racing up the river at ridiculous speeds and I see a pretty sharp 90 degree bend in the river coming up and Ross isn't slowing down at all. So, we go right and then almost immediately need to go back left on another 90 and we don't. We slam into a big root glob on the riverbank. Needless to say, first experience on the river did not leave a good taste in my mouth.

He managed to convince me to go out with them one night to gig. His dad was driving the boat that night and I just assumed (silly me) that his dad would be a better driver than Ross was that day. I assumed wrong, we were scooting right along and WHAM, we slammed right into a gravel bar and Ross just about goes flying over the gigging rails onto the bank. Second experience on the river left a pretty sour taste in my mouth and I told Ross I would never gig again. And to this day I haven't. We've taken the boat out a few times during the day, but I will never get in a boat on a river at night ever again.

Now, after all that back story, here is what I really wanted to tell you about. Dad hadn't been gigging since he was a boy. And since Ross loves it so much, he likes to share it with other people who have never done it. He tried to get all my brothers to come along too, but the only one who could make it was Dad. They headed out around 5 and I guess is was a little before 7 that we got the call to come on down to Bill and Carol's for the fry. We of course asked how it went and they said it was fine, except your Dad got a little wet. I said, "How wet?" Well, he was kind of in the water and Ronnie was holding his leg to keep him from going all the way in. Now mind you, they were out on Sunday night so it was probably about 10 degrees or so. Well, Mom and I of course flipped out and wanted to know what happened. This is what we managed to get out of them.

They were going along with Ronnie driving the boat and Dad beside him and Ross and Bill must have been up in the front of the boat facing backwards. Ronnie hollered for them to duck because they were going under some low hanging branches. Apparently at the same time the branches hit Dad across the side of the face they also hit a log on Dad's side of the boat and it stopped them short and dipped Dad's side down into the water, so over he went. Ronnie held onto his leg to keep him from going all the way in. They all said it was fine and not to worry, but I worry all the time about someone getting hurt. Being on a river is dangerous in itself in the daylight and warmer weather. But add nighttime and freezing temperatures and it's a recipe for disaster if you ask me.

So, we fried fish and sat around and then headed back to our house and Dad started shedding layers of clothing. The only thing not wet, was his socks because they were in his rubber boots. We didn't realize just how wet he got until he started giving me his clothes to wash and dry. His pants, underwear, long sleeve t, flannel shirt, pullover fleece shirt, coat, gloves, sock cap and ear wrap were all drenched. When he handed me the sock cap, I said, "Dad, your head was even under water?" He said, "Yeah, my sock cap was the only reason my glasses stayed on my face." Oh my goodness!

Dad says he'll go again, that he had a great time, but Mom says she's not sure if she'll ever let him go again! I'm just really thankful that he or anyone else didn't get hurt. I thanked Ronnie for holding onto him, I said, "He's my only Dad, thanks for saving him!"

But now, my Dad can say he's been swimming in the Meremac River in January!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Discouraged

I've been struggling a lot lately and today I'm very discouraged. I fiercely love my precious little almost 3 year old, but she has been so hard to handle lately.

I try really hard to be a good mom and I've known for a long time that I wanted to raise my children to be obedient, respectful and all around good kids. Alexis is challenging every single thing and some days it feels like more than I can handle.

It breaks my heart a little more each time I have to get on to her and spank her when she deliberately disobeys me. I'm feeling very worn down. I'm hoping that one day, it will just click, and then she'll be my well behaved little girl. Today is not that day...

I feel so helpless some days when she just pushes and pushes and pushes. She doesn't listen to a thing I say, like I'm not even talking to her. Once her mind is set, I can say NO ten times in a row, or until I'm blue in the face and she does it anyway. How am I supposed to respond to that? I spank her and she just does it again, time-out and she'll do it again, taking away privileges (ie. TV, DVD's, computer time) and she does it again.

I've always wanted to be a stay at home mom, but there are days I feel like a complete failure at it. (I'm a temporary stay at home mom until April when I go back from lay off.)

I'm feeling really alone....worn out....run down....lonely.....discouraged.....failure....bad mom.......the list could go on.

I'm trying so hard to do the right things, but I'm not seeing a lot of results and that makes days like today even harder. It's not one specific thing she does, it's a combination of little things that happen all day long. Sometimes I wonder if I expect too much of her and other days I'm confident that I'm doing things the right way. I mean she's not even 3 yet, I can't expect her behavior to be perfect all the time, but would 1 day be too much to ask for?

I get very frustrated with myself when Alexis is having one of those days when she is asserting her will so strongly. It's very easy for me to lose my temper with her when she gets whiny and doesn't listen to a thing I say. I hate it when I get mad and yell at her or spank her when I'm angry instead of being calm about it. I never expected it to be like this. I didn't enter motherhood thinking it would be easy, but I had no idea it would be this much of a challenge. Her will is so strong...and I feel like mine is breaking.

It may sound like I'm having a pity party for myself. That's not what it is, I'm just really bothered by the fact that her behavior is so strong and sinful already at such a young age. I don't want to break her spirit, but she has to understand that she must submit to our authority. My mom told me about something a friend of hers said about child rearing. "Your children must learn to submit to your authority so that they can learn to submit to God's authority." He is the ultimate discipline giver and if our children never learn to accept our discipline and authority, how will they accept His?


I don't have any answers other than to ask that you please pray for me? I want to wake up each day looking forward to all the good things about being a mom. Not dreading how Alexis will act today.

Some More Pictures


AI Clip

I love American Idol and I think this season is going to be great! I was excited to hear that Ellen Degeneres is going to be the new judge. Paula will be missed, but I'm looking forward to seeing Ellen's judging style. Here is a video clip from last nights auditions that I thought was hysterical! Enjoy!

Pants on the Ground

I've Got A Complaint With FedEx

The girls and I got some Old Navy gift cards for Christmas from Bill and Carol and instead of waiting to go to a store, I did my shopping online. Well, I placed the order on December 28th and still haven't received it yet. I checked my inbox for my email with the shipping confirmation and checked on the tracking number to see where my package is. This is what I've found:

  • Dec 28th - shipping information sent to FedEx
  • Dec 29th 4:51am - arrived at FedEx location Grove City, OH
  • Dec 29th 4:57pm - departed FedEx location Grove City, OH
  • Jan 5th 7:57pm - arrived FedEx location Phoenix, AZ (Now why on earth would my package go from Ohio to Arizona??? Why couldn't they have just dropped it out of the plane on the way past my house for crying out loud?)
  • Jan 6th 1:25am - departed FedEx location Phoenix, AZ
  • Jan 7th 2:04pm - arrived FedEx location Dallas, TX
  • Jan 9th 12:00am - Shipment information sent to USPS Steelville, MO
  • Jan 9th 1:03am - departed FedEx location Dallas, TX
  • Jan 10th 7:54pm - arrived FedEx location Kansas City, MO
  • Jan 11th 5:39pm - departed FedEx location Kansas City, MO
  • Jan 12th 2:09pm - arrived FedEx location Earth City, MO
  • Jan 12th 10:00pm - departed FedEx location Earth City, MO
Now, the last time I checked prior to last night, it had said it had arrived in Dallas, TX and the expected delivery date was January 14th. Then last night with all the new mumbo jumbo from Kansas City and Earth City it says expected delivery to be January 16th. What could possibly take 4 days from when it departed Earth City, which for those of you that don't know, is in St. Louis, to get to Steelville? Where on earth are they sending my stuff now? If I don't get the package soon, Alexis and Isabel will have outgrown the clothes I bought for them. What a complete waste of time and resources for FedEx.

My package arrived in the mailbox this afternoon!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

More Pictures


Coupon Queen

I've used coupons from time to time, but have never gotten serious with it. Well, I've decided it's time. I found the cutest little accordion coupon keeper at Old Navy that says, "Coupon Queen" on the front of it. I usually just keep the few coupons I have in an envelope in my purse, but I thought maybe I should upgrade if I'm going to get serious about couponing.

I've read several blogs about all the benefits of couponing and have subscribed to STL Mommy and have started searching for coupons online and I suppose my next step will be to buy the Sunday papers that have all the coupons in them. My biggest problem is forgetting to use them before they expire. So, my plan is to be more diligent to make my shopping list and check my cute coupon holder and get the coupons out that I can use and hold them with my list so I don't forget to use them. As all of you mommies know, when you are shopping with the kids, by the time you get to the register you are just ready to race back to the safety and sanity of the car! That's my excuse for always forgetting anyway.

I've been thinking a lot about ways to save money here lately. I've always been pretty good with money, as far as paying the bills go. Our bills will never go unpaid unless for some reason Ross or I would lose our job and literally not be able to pay them. I always pay the bills and then if there is anything left over, we shop. But, if I try to stretch my dollars just a bit more, I may be able to get some of those things I'd like, but don't want to splurge on.

So, if anyone can give me any tips or suggestions I would appreciate the advice!! Thanks ladies!