Saturday, November 29, 2008

This post has been sloshing around in my head for a while, probably since this summer. The problem is that I don't know how to type it without sounding negative about my kids or ungrateful or at worst, like I don't love/like my children. I assume that only readers of my blog are my friends so you all know me well enough to know how totally upside-down, crazy in love with my kids I am. Therefore I will take the aforementioned risk and type this blog and show a small epiphany at the end.

On normal days, we have a morning routine that gets clothes on, hair fixed, teeth brushed, tummies full, and all of us out the door by 7:00 AM. Then Trey and I go to work and do our work thing. Then we have an evening routine (complete with graphics!) where we come home, fix and eat supper, have baths, playtime, stories, prayer, and off to bed at 8:00. So what's the problem? The problem is that I'm a teacher and that allows for 2 months off in the summer, 2 weeks off at Christmas, and random days off throughout the year. Still don't see the problem? The problem is that the days leading up to those days off, when I'll be home alone with 3 toddlers, yes I know they're my own, sends me into a complete panic. We don't have a daytime routine. We don't have a schedule telling us what to do, when to do it. Sounds great to an adult. A whole day to do whatever you want. Not so great to toddlers who thrive on structure. It totally throws them into a tailspin, and they don't know what to do. So what do they do? They follow me around wanting to be picked up and held most of the day. It's very difficult to hold three kids all at once. You almost have to be sitting on the couch, with one on each side and one on your lap. But that's no way to spend the day. Who wants to spend a whole day like that? Then comes when one of them has to use the bathroom, or I need to fix lunch, and they're still hanging on to my clothes wanting to be picked up. By the end of the day, I'm totally stressed, ready to scream, watching the clock so we can start our evening routine, where they know what's expected of them!

Now I'm not one to lay around and wallow in self-pity or throw my hands up in defeat. No...I did some research on stay-at-home moms since essentially on those days throughout the year, that's exactly what I am. Know what I discovered? Those stay-at-homes who love staying home, who have no idea how work-outside-of-the-home moms leave their babies, they have schedules! Just like we have in the morning and evening and just like I have for my students at school. So I made one. I wrote it out and put it on the refrigerator. (No graphics yet.) It has free-play time, where they can play either in their rooms or in the playroom; table-play time, where we get out puzzles, stickers, pencils, crayons, or play-doh; outside play time, because here in Texas it's still nice enough to play outside; and even a little cuddle in front of the TV and watch some Barney time. They love it! They even come ask me what time it is! They're napping better, eating better, getting along better, and they're more independent. I have no idea why it took me so long to try this or come up with it. Maybe they're just now old enough to even understand a schedule. I don't know. All I know is that I've enjoyed this time off with them, and thinking ahead to Christmas break doesn't make my heart race!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Update to Oh, no!

We are in the process of weaning Ava over to whole milk, and she's doing GREAT! Her skin looks better than ever! Since we are buying it, and technically the other two have tested allergic to soy (even though they drink it every single day), we decided to switch them too! They're drinking half whole/half soy right now, and their skin is showing improvements too!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Oh, no!

This is our attempt at switching her off of formula! Major face break-outage! What are we to do??? She was on soy-based formula because milk-based formula broke her skin out too! She's done great on soy-based formula, but something about the soy milk (we think!) did this to her face! Should I try her on whole milk?

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Let them sleep...

for when they wake, they will move mountains.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A new way to look at it...

Trey is always applying for new with better hours and, of course, jobs with more money. We always pray that he will get the job so that our money worries will be over. We have a whole list of wants that we would buy if only...We've stopped that. Now we pray that if we are ready to handle the responsibilites of having more money, that he get the job. Here's our thinking. We are told and shown in scripture that if we are good stewards with a little, we will be blessed with a lot. Well friends, we have not been good stewards of a little, but we're on the road to trying. So now our prayer is that when we reach the point where we are handling what we have in a Christ-like way, that then and only then will God give us more. So jobs have come and gone, and we know that as we grow and become better stewards of God's blessings, he will give us more, and until then, we will use what we have and will be thankful for what we have. We will not wish for something that we're not ready for.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Not Me! Monday

I did not call in the tech guy at work TWICE to fix my blurry monitor, only to have him look at me like I'm crazy and then politely ask when was the last time I had my eyes checked. Then I did not slightly argue with him, showing him exactly where it was blurry. I did, however, schedule an eye appointment just in case, and to my excitement, learned that I still have near-perfect vision...just incredibly dry eyes!
I did not let my 2 year old wear her 1 year old sister's diapers to bed for a week instead of making her wear her big girl night time pull-ups! Nope, a good mom would insist that big girls wear big girl pull-ups or panties and would never give in to such whining. I am a good mom so I would never do that!
And one on my husband...My husband definitely did not tell our 3 year old, when he asked what Goliath says, that he was saying "Fe Fi Fo Fum."
Nope..we would never do those things...not in a million years!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

We spent our emergency fund...

Well since becoming Dave Ramsey-ites, we have worked to build our emergency fund, which I must admit was not yet fully stocked when we learned on Tuesday that we had to buy a new water heater. However you all know how the Lord watches over us and gives us exactly what we need exactly when we need it, and low and behold, the total of the water heater came to almost the exact amount that we had put back. Now I, as much as anybody else, hate to spend every penny we have, but I couldn't help but see the Lord's hand at work in this situation. We had cut up our credit cards about a year ago, before ever even deciding to buy into this Dave Ramsey business, so putting it on a credit card would not have been an option. What would we have done withough our humble emergency fund??? I must thank the Lord for introducing us to this new found peace at the exact moment that He did so that now two months later, we had enough money put back to buy a water heater!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Not Me Monday...On Wednesday

My first attempt!
*I did not, in a very stern voice, say to my three year old little boy, "STOP PLAYING WITH YOUR TEE-TEE," after he did NOT come running into the living room proudly telling his dad and me that he had been "in the bathroom for hours just playing with his tee-tee." Nope, not me, and not my son either!!
*I certainly did not then go google if toddlers playing with their tee-tees is normal, and I did not burst out laughing at one answer that said that boys start when they're toddlers and stop when they're 80. I would never find that funny!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

How to Make a Tutu

A few of my readers have written and asked me how to make a tutu. I got directions from a website, and I was just going to put a link, but when I went to the page, it had been deleted. So I will do my best to explain!

6 inch rolled tulle (probably 2 rolls)
7/8 inch no-roll elastic

Measure your little darling's waist and cut that exact measurement in the 7/8 in. elastic. (If for some reason you got 1 in. no-roll elastic, add an inch to the measurement.) Overlap about an inch and sew it closed to form the waist band. The 7/8 in. will stretch to accomodte the overlap.

Decide how long you want your tutu. Ainslee's and Ava's skirt tutus were both 9-10 inches long, and Ava's tutu dress was 15 inches long. Cut strips of tulle 2 inches longer than double your desired length. For example for the 9 inch skirt, I cut 20 inch strips.

Then simply double-knot the tulle onto the elastic. Do not pull the knot completely tights against the elastic; I keep a finger between the tulle and elastic to keep the elastic from stretching out too much.

If you want an extra poofy tutu, use two strips of tulle, instead of one, each time you tie a knot.

If you want a satin ribbon around the waist, you'll need at least 3 yards of 1 1/2 inch satin ribbon. Leave enough for a tail and wrap the ribbon around each knot. Be sure to heat seal the ends to keep them from fraying.

Feel free to ask any questions. Give it a try! It's so easy, and they turn out so cute!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Ava!!!

My last baby turned one! Sad is not the word to describe how I feel, nostalgic maybe. I am so glad that the Lord knew we needed Ava. She is such a sweet bundle, and our family wouldn't be complete without her. She brings so much joy to her house and gives us so many laughs. My heart overflows with joy when I watch the three of them play together. I can only imagine what it's going to be like as they grow older. I am so blessed.
This is the outfit April and I made for her to wear to her party. April made the onesie, and I made the tutu.
Ava's cake (I only gave her a small piece of it!)
Cupcakes made into the shape of a 1. (I got very brave this year and did the cakes myself.)
Cupcakes for the no icing lovers.

Ava on the horsey Meme and Bop gave her. (And she's wearing the Halloween shirt that April made her...Ainslee has a matching shirt.)

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