Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas at our house

Ok so I thought I would share some our Christmas traditions. You may not care and in that case you can just close this browser right now but it might give you some good ideas :-)

Cooking- We LOVE Christmas goodies! The best part is making them, some of my great memories of my biological mom are of making Christmas cookies and candy. I still use some of her recipes and I really want to pass this on so I spend AT LEAST one full day baking and cooking with my kids.

Stockings- I made our stockings. I bought a pattern one year and I sewed us all some stockings. Each of us has a different fabric with out initial on it. Each year I add a patch to the kids' stocking. This year The boys got turtle patches because keeping the turtles was part of their Christmas gift. Since they have a long life span I thought it might be nice to remember the year that they got them. Faith's stocking will have a part of one of her cute one-piece outfits. Each child's stocking got started with some sort of cloth thing from a baby outfit. Cole's is the butt flap from his first Christmas PJs and it says his name on it. Davin's is a giraffe from a cute pair of pants he has when he was tiny. Faith's says "sweet" in sort of a candy motif.

Ornaments- I liked the idea of getting a new ornament every year. I had a couple of obstacles though because ornaments can get expensive when you're trying to pick something personal and unique each year and second they don't really have a ton of personal options when they're this young. So far we have made 99% of our yearly ornaments by hand. One year we did cinnamon dough ornaments and the boys cut out their initials. the next year it was salt dough and the boys' ornaments were in the shape of stockings with their name and the year painted on. This year we made sleds out of Popsicle sticks. They're pretty cute :-)

Gifts- Our kids get three gifts. We stole the idea and the phrase that goes with it which is: "if it's good enough for Jesus then it's good enough for them". We give our kids 1 gift which is shared which this year was the turtles, 1 gift for themselves, and their stocking counts as the third and has small treats in it.
For the rest of the family we do our best to give at least 1 homemade thing. Some years its all we can do but I believe that it teaches the kids that gifts are only things and they should come from your heart.
Santa Claus- Oh the conversations and debates I've had on this guy. Our approach is that he's fun to pretend with but he is ultimately as real as any other fictional character that we love. They know the story of St. Nick who loved God and took care of people and that's where Santa comes from. They know that people think that he brings presents still but they also know that Christmas isn't about a pretend guy that we all happen to love.

Family time management- Oye Vey

Our overall theme- What is Christmas? It's Jesus' birthday!!!! We make Jesus a birthday cake and celebrate it like we would a family birthday. We really have tried to impress on the kids that Christmas isn't about "things" and commercial traditions. We want them to celebrate this holiday for what it is. We do know that Jesus' birthday isn't actually on December 25th but we know that he knows our hearts and I know that if someone didn't know my birthday I would still like it if they picked a day and celebrated my birthday even though it isn't my birthday. So we go along and enjoy this festive season with the best heart that we can have. Isn't that what it's all about?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

school and other nonsense

It's been a while since I blogged so I thought I'd log in and keep my feet wet.

I could have blogged our christmas craft but did I?
We made little sled ornaments for the kids and some close friends and family. They turned out really cute. I might still add those in but that would require getting all my craft supplies out and making one for the example and taking pictures along the way.

I have a good potential blog with all my christmas recipies I'm going to be making as gifts for friends and neighbors. We will se if I follow through with that one.

In other news: school is out until mid-january!!! I'm bit nervous about the timeline though because I am schedualed for a partial hysterectomy on the 13th and school starts on the 18th for me. I'm hoping I'll be ok and able to tough it out through classes in that first week or two.
It sure seems like I have had something major come up every semester that I've been in school. Seriously; my parents got a divorce, my dad moved in and out, I got my first flair up with a chronic pain disorder, I got pregnant, I had a baby, my Drewser died, and now I'm starting off the new semester with a surgery. That covers my last 2 years in college. I'm praying that the next 2 years will be far less eventful.

I might blog in the next couple of days about our christmas traditions. I have seen a few other bloggers doing it and it seems like a good topic. I'm not sure I want to follow the herd though...

I have about a zillion things to get done now that school is on break (hallelujah!!) I need to catch up laundry- as usual, baking, wrapping, did I mention laundry?, I need to sort through the kids stuff in preparation for christmas, I need to sit back and enjoy some of this time, laundry, make meals in advance for my surgery, read the book for my book club, and even more laundry!

Welcome to my random chaotic world and for that matter welcome to my random insightful ramblings at 12am :-)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What it's like....

I have been close to and working for individuals affected by special needs since the day I laid eyes on one of my close friends back in the 2nd grade. It has been my undying passion and it is my calling to educate the community, embrace this wonderful population, and empower them to be the best they can be without the need to "fix it".
I have gotten to know and love many families over the years, I'm still in touch with a few of them and I will value and admire every single one of those sweet families forever. I have been in many different spots in this field; I've been the therapist, the care provider, the teacher, and the paraprofessional. having been a care provider I have had the opportunity to be close to the family supporting the student with exceptional needs and I've seen their point of view and i've been that advocate along side them. But there is one thing I have never done or even realized I was missing... until now.

Many of you know that our baby girl, Faith has struggled to meet her milestones. This is new ground for new because as a professional I never had seen where it all started. I had never felt what it feels like as a mother to watch your baby march to their own drum and to face all the anti-fix it speeches I have given through the years. I wanted to write this because not to many people share these feelings or are aware of how it feels and it is truely a valuable tool for all you people in my field. Faith doesn't have a diagnosis and she still has a very good chance of growing out of her delays but the reality is that right here, right now my baby has delays and she is not where her peers are in her physical developmental milestones. I don't know what her future holds but I do know that no matter what, I have this experiance to draw from. Even if we were to wake up tomorrow and she suddenly started rolling over and eating baby food and putting weight on her arms and legs I will still have these feelings right now to put in my proverbial tool box.

So what are these feelings you ask? I feel encouraged everytime Faith does something new. I feel warm and gushy, everytime she looks at me when I feed her because in many ways she is still like a newborn baby. I feel torn sometimes and heart broken sometimes. I feel like a hypocrite sometimes because as strongly as I feel that people don't need to be cured or fixed; I have this instinct inside of me that drives me to do everything I can for my baby. I can't seem to convince this instinct sometimes that it's ok for her to keep her own beat. I feel frustrated sometimes even though she is all smiles. I see babies her age who do all these things and some of them are very advanced and I admit that I envy that sometimes. I feel heart broken sometimes. I feel sad and mad sometimes. I feel determined all the time. My one goal for all of my children is that they grow up to be God loving people who feel fulfilled... whatever that might mean to them. My biggest fear I guess for them is that they will be hurt or not heard or taken advantage of. Did you know that 66% of disabled adults feel like they don't have a voice and are not happy? That's only the ones who have the ability to communicate to participate in that poll. That is a scary thing to think of as a mom of a kid with an uncertain future. I know deep down and have been reassured many times that no matter what happens she will be ok. "ok" may not be what anyone imagines but she'll be ok none the less and I hear it and I know it but it doesn't invalidate moments like these.
Like I said, at the very least I know that I can use this as a professional in this field. I can give support as a mom who has "been there", I can show compassion and advocate with a new passion. I don't know what to do with all this as a mom but that in itself is an amazing thing to draw from later. I am SO SO thankful to have the support and encouragement that we get on a regular basis from friends and family. I am so thankful for where I've been in my skill set that gives me a place to escape to when I'm at the end of my rope as a mom. I'm so thankful for my husband who doesn't see what I see when I see things missing from Faith's skill set. He sees his beautiful daughter who is wonderful just the way she is. He sees a little girl who seems like she gets to stay tiny longer than he remembers the others doing.
In two days Faith will be 6 months old. I have been told not to compare her to her brothers or anyone else and I know why. At this age they were sitting up and they rolled around everywhere and they even got up on all fours and rocked back and forth. It can be discouraging and make you lose sight of celebrating Faith own unique milestones when you compare her. I struggle with that sometimes... I struggle to appreciate her just the way she is sometimes. I struggle to celebrate what she does and to not dwell on what she can't do yet. I know that every parent who has been in my shoes has struggled here and there with these same things.
It's kind of funny; even though I'm being honest about how it feels to be a parent (new to this game as I am) of a child who is exceptional, if some well intentioned person ever tried to tell me that she is anything but perfect I would rip them to shreds and give them a new education about how it's ok to be different and that she's beautiful and perfect just the way she is. I might struggle with how combine my own instincts with my beliefs but I know that she truely is perfect the way that she is even if she isn't like everyone else.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Is "Hard Candy Christmas" a Christmas song?

Take a look at the lyrics:

Hey, maybe I'll dye my hair
Maybe I'll move somewhere
Maybe I'll get a car
Maybe I'll drive so far
They'll all lose track
Me, I'll bounce right back
Maybe I'll sleep real late
Maybe I'll lose some weight
Maybe I'll clear my junk
Maybe I'll just get drunk on apple wine
Me, I'll be just
Fine and Dandy
Lord it's like a hard candy christmas
I'm barely getting through tomorrow
But still I won't let
Sorrow bring me way down
I'll be fine and dandy
Lord it's like a hard candy christmas
I'm barely getting through tomorrow
But still I won't let
Sorrow get me way down
Hey, maybe I'll learn to sew
Maybe I'll just lie low
Maybe I'll hit the bars
Maybe I'll count the stars until dawn
Me, I will go on
Maybe I'll settle down
Maybe I'll just leave town
Maybe I'll have some fun
Maybe I'll meet someone
And make him mine
Me, I'll be just
Fine and dandy
Lord it's like a hard candy christmas
I'm barely getting through tomorrow
But still I won't let
Sorrow bring me way down
I'll be fine and dandy
Lord it's like a hard candy christmas
I'm barely getting through tomorrow
But still I won't let
Sorrow bring me way down
I'll be fine and dandy
Lord it's like a hard candy christmas
I'm barely getting through tomorrow
But still I won't let
Sorrow bring me way down
'Cause I'll be fine
(I'll be fine)
Oh, I'll be fine

If it didn't have the actual word "Christmas" in it you wouldn't think of it as a Christmas song!
Some local DJs asked this question on facebook today and I was genuinely surprised to see how many people felt like it was a Christmas song. Seriously people?!?! The song was written specifically for a musical about whores and it is sung when they all pack up and have to disband the whore house. It's actually one of my favorite songs, when I feel down and I need a little pick-me-up I love to listen to this song because it expresses my feelings and adds in a little bit of a positive spin AND it's Dolly Parton, when does she not make me feel better?

But here's the thing- Dolly has SO many great Christmas songs!!! Why in the world does everyone insist on playing this song which is not even a Christmas song? Is this the ONLY way I'm going to hear Dolly on the radio? Do I either have to suck it up and just enjoy hearing my favorite singer or not hear her at all? These are my choices?!?! Seriously?!?! C'mon!!!

Ok that's my strong opinion for the day. This is not a christmas song! It's a song with the word Christmas in it because it feels hopeless to not have anything but hard candy for Christmas and they wanted to convey that feeling. It's not a Christmas song!!! Yes, I know that Dolly Parton has included it on Christmas albums and even put it in another movie that she did for Christmas but I also know that she's a pretty smart business woman and it doesn't matter what she thinks if she doesn't give an opinion on the matter and gives people what they seem to want then she will sell albums. And she did sell albums; many many albums.
Obviously other people like this song for Christmas but I am giving you FACTS!
It's not a Christmas song!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 22

I am thankful for encouragement from my daughter.
A bit of background for you-
She is a floppy baby.
She has nicknames from people who love her that are well intentioned and cute but at the same time it breaks my heart.
She has been slow to meet all of her milestones and it hurts to see how different she is from other babies her age. I try to think of her as fearfully and wonderfully made; she is perfect the way God made her. Her name is Faith, her middle name is Isabella which means "God as a promise" so I try to give myself comfort in having faith in God's promises. All in all I would be fine if she did have some different needs because obviously I have the background for it. I would be very accepting if I knew that I was doing everything in my power to help her to be whatever she is to the best of my ability. I don't think she or any other person needs to be fixed but I do think that everyone deserves to have the tools to reach the potential that God gave them. So whatever her abilities are I want to be the best mom and advocate that I can be so that she can grow up and be happy and faithful.

I have struggled though because I feel like a hypocrite because I’m not just a person with a background in working with special needs- I’m a mom and I’m protective. God told me that she’s in his hands and I should not worry. But I struggle with letting go and I compensate by being a mommy bear and demanding the best that anyone can give us in terms of resources. When Faith got denied for the infant and toddler program I was SO disappointed. I felt like I'm not doing everything I can for her so I don't accept their denial. They told me that she “averages out” Her fine motor skills are only in the 9th percentile, her gross motor skills are in the 26th and her cognitive abilities are up in the 65th percentile. You have to have 2/3 of these things that are less than the 25th percentile to qualify unless you have some underlying diagnosis and then you automatically qualify. Anyway I was notified that she doesn’t qualify and they told me they would track her. At that point I saw Faith who seems like at times she is 2+ months behind her peers physically and to say that I was disappointed is an understatement. I arranged for a second eval from a different specialist and in the meantime I just keep working with her and giving her the massages twice a day to stimulate her nerves and trying new things to see if something will click. It seems like she wants to stand up in my arms, and it seems like she wants to roll over, and she wants to eat baby food and be able to swallow it, she wants to grab things, she wants to play with my hair but her arms hang there and she doesn’t support her core to sit up in my arms when she’s on my hip. I celebrate her small victories and we keep on keeping on. Her smile lights up my world and even though we both get frustrated we just have to keep trying because that’s how life works. There’s always another day, there’s always something new and life will keep going with or without you so we might as well keep a good attitude and go with it.
Today was one of those days when you know you’re doing something right J
  • Today my baby played in the jumper and used her legs!
  • Today my baby ate 2 bites of baby food without losing it out of her mouth!
  • Today my baby laid on her back and lifted her legs up and grabbed her feet!
  • Today she rolled half way over!!!
  • Today she grabbed my hair!
Today was a BIG victory.

Today I felt for the first time like she was like any other baby and there were no painful or worrisome reminders that that my baby is SO different.
I even thought about canceling our 2nd eval with the infant and toddler program. I'll see how she does over the next couple of weeks and I will cancel if she continues to make such amazing progress.
 Today I was encouraged and I wasn’t only so proud of her new milestones I also celebrated that she does march to her own drum and it is ok!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 19

I'm thankful for my book club. My book club is a great group of ladies! We all share common a common faith and most of us have children all around the same ages. We all enjloy reading but more than that we enjoy the sanity of getting away for one night a month and just being able to hang out and be yourself. I don't always enjoy the book but I don't mind because I really enjoy the friendship and I feel all smart and grown up when I step outside my comfort zone when I read something I wouldn't normally read.
When you spend your days with small children and babies it is important to feel like all smart and grown up once in a while.
I'm thankful for my friends some of who are new and then of course there are the ones I've known for a couple of years who invited me into the book club in the first place. All of these ladies are fairly new friends I think the longest friendship I have in this group is a year and a half but I'm so thankful to have found them. I don't have many friends who share my faith background. That number is growing quickly though and it's a blessing to be able to be yourself and talk openly or ask for prayer and to not have to explain yourself when you have to discipline your child because a lot of us go to the same bible study where we learned a lot of our child training skills.
Thank God for good friends and mommies only playdates!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

day 12

I'm thankful for our church.
We go to an amazing church! Our church family is HUGE and the resources as extensive. Our pastor is not only compassionate and wise, but also entertaining. We are blessed by a community of people who we have come to know and love.
We have been going to Calvary Chapel Boise for about 4 years now.
Aaron and I both attended Calvery in college, I remember when there weren't that many students in the college age group on sunday nights. Now, there are hundreds of sunday night college age people.
Anyway, after Calvary I went to a different church for about 5 years, it's the church we got married in. It's the church that Cole was dedicated in. Aaron went to second Baptist with his family before and during his college Calvary days. So when we got married and for about 2 years after that we attended my church (Valley Life) but we felt like god wanted us somewhere else. At first we resisted but after we prayed about it for a while we decided to go ahead and attend Calvary again.
A lot of people don't like big churches but I feel liek it really isn't too different from a small church in a lot of ways as long as you get involved. If you get involved and join a small group or serve in a ministery then you make friends and that makes it feel smaller. Eventually you make more friends and your net work grows and pretty soon you are surrounded by an amazing network of love and support.
We enjoy serving others and getting to know other families. I love serving in the women's ministery and iIm always blessed by these ladies. Any time we have had a prayer request or a need of that nature we have been surrounded by more love and support than we knew what to deal with and a lot of times this love comes from people we don't know.
So today I am thankful for my church and for all the ways we are blessed by serving and being a part of that community.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 11

I'm thankful for music.
Music allows me to express feelings that don't always have words to match. There is usually a song to match my mood and sometimes I just need to hear something and let it speak for me.
Music comforts my babies, it comforts me. When we're happy; there's usually a song for it. When we're scared we sing through it. There's even a few songs when you're mad that will either validate your anger or calm you down.
Some of my best memories are musical. I came from a family that gathered around the piano and sang Christmas carols. We sang silly songs on road trips. My sisters and I were all in choir and I think we all tried our hand and an instrument or two. There has never been a time when music wasn't a key thing in my life and I'm thankful for that. I can't imagine not having a love for music.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 10

I am thankful for my morning coffee.

When I don't get my morning coffee my whole day is off!

I'm thankful to live in a place where it's not such a luxury and it's considered normal to have a cup of coffee in the morning. I always chug the first cup before I even leave the counter and then I refill and enjoy. I am so thankful for my coffee. It just tastes yummy and it's an essential way to start my day!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 9

I'm thankful for the provision of clothes

We actually buy very few things for our children in term of clothing. We are not against hand me downs and thanks to great friends, some family, and a lot of love we are able to trade or be blessed by other peoples clothes and then in turn we pass on the love.
I am so thankful because I don't always know where their clothes are going to come from but I always feel so peaceful about it because we are always taken care of and we have never not had our needs met.

I honestly feel like it's all about giving back and passing on the blessings. We are blessed and I really try to pay it forward and maybe that's a part of why we never worry about how our needs will be met.
It's a pretty beautiful thing and I am so thankful!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 8

I'm thankful for my animals.

We have pets that enrich our lives and teach us about ourselves. Pets are SO important especially to little boys in our world. Girls play with dolls and they learn what you should and should not do, you learn compassion and nurturing. But boys don't generally play with dolls. They don't play a lot of those nurturing games that girls play and so pets help to teach these things.

Our pets give us love. They don't judge and they are always happy to see us. They teach our children responsibility and they keep us grounded.

Our basset hound (Dudley) is a cuddler, he is a love and he only wants to be a 50 pound lap dog. He's getting old but he still loves to run and play. He lets the kids do pretty much whatever they want but he's firm and lets them know what is not ok.
Chance is a viszla/retriever mix and he needs us as much as I need him. I had a golden retriever once upon a time and I had a special bond with him. When he died it left a huge void and I was afraid I would never feel that way about a dog again. When Chance came to us as an emergency rescue we both got a second chance. He's very much my dog but I know he would die for any of us.

Milkshake is a fun little girl that the boys have really enjoyed. She has a whole lot of personality for a rodent. She squeaks when shes happy and does this shudder thing when she's not happy and she's also pretty tolerant of the boys' antics. They have learned commitment and to be gentle with her. She also makes one heck of a garbage disposal for veggie scraps.

Then there are our newest additions; Fred and Daphne. Fred is a male red slider and Daphne is a female western painted turtle.
I had never even touched a reptile before we welcomed these into our home. I didn't have a clue about turtle care or what kind of pets they might make. I did a lot of research on the internet and learned all I could so that they could have the best home we could give them. I have seen and learned so many things through the turtles. Besides being down right cool I have learned that they are very social and I would dare to even call them affectionate. I was reminded that God cares for even the smallest creatures when I thought that our turtles should see a vet but we don't have the resources to take them or to get the supplies that they need. They were rescue turtles in a way and I just want them to have a good home. Sure enough a local vet emailed me and was happy to take a look at them and answer all my remaining questions that I had forgotten to ask my amazing knowledgeable cousins. I love life's little miracles and I love our turtles!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 7

I'm thankful for my sisters.
When we were growing up and we'd fight my mom would always say "you're the only sisters you're ever going to have!"

We didn't take her seriously then but I sure am thankful to have that bond now that we're all pretty much grown. My sisters know my dirt and they love my anyway, they understand where I'm coming from because we share the same background. We know how to make it all better for each other and how to be there and when to just listen.

If one of us got into trouble (thankfully no one has) i know that we would all be there for each other in a heartbeat. I can tell you that my sisters were there when for me when Drew died. It meant so much to me that they were there even if they could only help by listening to me cry.

I have tried to be there in the same ways although I am grateful that they have never experianced that kind of loss. Some day it will be just the 3 of us and we really be all we have and I'm so thankful to have the most amazing sisters because I know when that day comes we will be more than enough.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

day 6

I'm thankful for cleaning products. I'm thankful for old reliables like vinegar and hydrogen peroxide which between the two of those you really shouldn't need much else but in case you feel the need to inhale toxic fumes and feel EXTRA clean like I occasionally do there are things like lysol and Kaboom. I'm a big fan or Purell and Dial too.
I'm not overly obsessed with clean but there is a certain comfort in going into a bathroom mainly used by little boys armed with the power of disinfectant. There is satisfaction cleaning up after your animals and knowing that you can still out the baby on the floor.
Our newest friends are turtles and I rely on hand sanitizer, lysol, and dial because turtles can carry samonilla. I sprayed their tank down with hydrogen peroxide yesterday when I cleaned it knowing that even if I wasn't able to rinse all the cleaner away it wouldn't hurt them like a comercial cleaner might. I love that we can give our tiny friends a home and keep our family healthy at the same time!

Thank God for cleaning products!

Here is one of my favorite articles for the basics if you have never heard of using vigegar or peroxide for cleaning.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 5

I am thankful for my husband.

I'm thankful that God put us together and for the beauty in how we compliment each other. My weaknesses are his strengths and his weaknesses are my strengths. We are both still relatively young and we are still learning many things about being married but I admire his desire and ability to be the leader of our family and he has an amazing, discerning nature. He is patient and tolerant, he is funny, he doesn't judge, he doesn't get upset too easily.

My husband knows me and understands me. He helps me and sometimes I help him too. He's our rock. I'm blessed because we agree on most things and have the same goals and intentions. Like I said, we are still learning but we have a great foundation and it's because we BOTH work together.

We don't always agree but we know how to fight. We always have a lot of love no matter what and we seek to know each others intentions. He steps up when I need him. Even if he's worked a 10 hour day he is always willing to help me out if I need him and I have NEVER heard him complain.

It is for these reasons and SO MUCH MORE that I am so very thankful for my husband.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 4

I'm thankful for the little things in life.

I'm talking about that first sip of coffee in the morning;
a favorite song on the radio or just a song that soothes your soul when you need it;
Finding a dollar or two in the wash;
A new turtle (or 2) who provides entertainment and a welcome distraction from the stressors of life;
The little jokes that your husband makes that make you roll your eyes but laugh;
Or the way the dog looks up at you when he comes and lays his head in your lap...

These little things are definitely not usually life changing by themselves but without them my life would definitely be different.

I sometimes get very busy with life and child training and school and just surviving in general. Tonight I was having trouble of isolating something to be thankful for and I stopped and thought about the last thing that made me smile. It was one of these little things and often times I find myself smiling at the little oddities and joys that are intertwined with my days. I'm thankful to have things to smile about J

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 3

Today I am thankful for my kids.

They are oblivious to daylight savings and it reminds me that they are oblivious to a lot of things and that is not necessarily a bad thing. They are always so full of joy and willing to just keep going. They do get frustrated but they always keep trying and learning.
All 3 are so loving and happy.
Cole is string willed and willing to help. He values justice and fairness. He's pretty responsible for a guy his age. He is talented in sports and does well in anything he tries in that area. He's got a sense of humor and is our family comedian.

Davin is full of compassion and thinks carefully about things and then does his best. He's quiet but if you sit back and give him a chance you can see his thoughtful spirit working. He has a servant's heart and a gentle spirit.

Faith is joyful and loving. She is social and vivacious. She loves music and being active. Faith is a snuggle bug, it is such a joy when she buries her head into you and settles in with a content sigh. Faith is assertive but not demanding and her smile is so rewarding.

These are my children and I am so thankful to have been given the task of raising them up to be strong men and women for God. I don't always feel worthy for the task but I'm thankful that they are strong and will turn out ok sometimes in spite of me. Kids put a lot lot of things into perspective and bring out both the best and worst in us. I learn to see my own actions and attitude and work to improve myself so that they will be shown what is right. The kids show me value in unexpected things and keep the world turning. They are brutally honest and candid with no disillusion of niceties. Sometimes it's hard to swallow but it is consistently refreshing.

They can be foolish but I am SO thankful for their pure hearts and willing nature.
Thank you, Thank, you, thank you!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 2

Today I am thankful for living in the time period (and place) that we live in.
We have so much technology and so much comfort. We don't need to be worried about being warm. If we get sick we go to the doctor. God forbid that we should get seriously sick but if we did we would still have a pretty good chance of fighting it.
I have the resources to look things up on a little machine that gives me access to endless information. My kids get all the stimulation and educational opportunities they could ever want or use.
If I want to mop the floor I use a mop and some pledge floor cleaner. My mom used to use a brush and a bucket of water on her knees and so did all our ancestors. I can vaccume my carpet. I have carpet! If my clothes get dirty I can put them in a magical machine and turn it on and they come out clean. Then I put the clothes in another magical machine and they get dried!
If I'm dirty I can turn a knob and water shoots out from some pipe and I get a shower.
I had this for breakfast this morning
If I need to go to the store I can simply get in my car and turn it on and drive to a big place that has all this food ready to go. If I need clothes I can buy them. I don't own and farn animals and yet I have meat, milk, eggs, and clothing. I don't have a very successful garden and yet I have fresh veggies at any time of the year I want them.

All these things and so much more are available to me because I live in the year 2011 in a developed society. Our worries in our society are politics and business and money. We have poverty but even our poverty is different than it is in other places. There are places that their worry is survival and mothers hold their hungry crying starving babies at night wondering if they will be able to feed their kids in time before they starve.

I am so thankful to not have that problem. I worry about "necesities" like clothes and we have had our times when I worried about food but I have never had to fear for my life or my child's life. I have never wondered where we will sleep.

I am SO thankful to live where I do in the time that I do and this is what I'm thankful for today.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day 1

I'm joining on the band wagon for 30 days of thankfulness.

I'm thankful for our family who supports us.
          I was thinking about a coat drive that our local radio station puts on and I was thinking about how thankful I was that we didn't need to ask for any coats and in fact we donated a couple of the boys' old coats to the cause.
Would you like to know why we don't need to ask for any coats and why we don't need to use a lot of various programs for underprivileged people? Our family is the most amazing support system!!!
We don't have a lot of things that other people have and a lot of times we go without things because we just can't afford them. We are surely underprivileged at times but I don't know anyone who hasn't been in our shoes at one time or another and God has been so good in providing for us, we have never gone without a necessity. This is what family is all about. Our situation is not permanent; eventually I'm going to get out of school and we will once again be stable. We were one of the millions of families severely affected by the economy and in the bigger picture we will be fine sooner than later but we would be so much worse off if we didn't have a generous family who takes care of their own.  Our families are key in this whole picture because things like coats, clothes, shoes, childcare, and the occasional treat are all examples of the many many things that our families do for us. We do our best with what we have and we would never take advantage but we couldn't do it with out them either. Our families don't have a lot of excess to pass around but we all have love and we all do what we can for each other. Today I am thankful for the support of our families because with out them I'm not what we would do.

Monday, October 10, 2011

a lesson in humidifiers

So I don't know how many other people really care about humidifiers except other moms and since that is about ½ of my blog I thought I would share J
I learned a couple of things and I found them useful, it’s new info for me but perhaps you already knew some of this.

Our humidifier hasn’t been making the baby’s room very humid. I decided to go online and do some research because our humidifier blows cool air and I grew up with warm mist. Do they still make warm air? Why don’t I really hear about them anymore? Which is better?
Here awesome answers in a nutshell:
Warm mist fell out of use for the most part when the cool mist was developed because it has to boil the water and has a potential to scald kids. In order to keep up with the safer cool mist though, the warm mist guys amped up their safety features so while there is still a risk it is not what it used to be. There’s automatic shut off and the boiling water and heating elements are more contained so that if it does get tipped over the hot water will not be as likely to reach your child and the cooler water will at least temper it down.
Cool mist has no risk of burns.
Both will have the same air temp by the time they get where they need to be in your lungs.

The hot water does get disinfected when it boils but because it creates a warmer environment bacteria can grow so keep an eye on that. The cool mist has antimicrobial properties but will not kill any germs that happen to be in it.
** Here was the big one for me**
The cool mist will require ongoing maintenance which I didn’t know about. Because it doesn’t evaporate the water it uses a wick. The wicks have to be replaced on average about once a year. So since our humidifier doesn’t work it is likely that the wick needs to be replaced. Since I got ours on clearance and I don’t even know where the wick is, I highly doubt that if I could find the right replacement I would know what to even do with it.  Upon further research, I discovered that our filter is also thw wick so that's easy. But!!!! Yuck! I had to replace the filter so often because it kept growing funky stuff an dI haven't been able to find the right filter for it in a while. My instruction manual didn’t say anything about any of this. Not all filters are the wick that the humidifier needs, it depends on the brand. The cool mist has a higher long term cost even though the initial investment is often lower.
The warm mist doesn’t have a wick so it’s pretty much good to go as long as you keep the mineral build up down. Warm air has a longer life span than the cool air if you have hard water. Again, not in the manual! Warm air has a medicine cup and you can add things like Vicks solutions that clear your chest. I’ve never used those types of additives but I think I might like to.
In the end I ordered a new WARM air humidifier because I don’t want to mess with our cool air one and I need it NOW, not in 3-6 weeks from some website that MIGHT carry the part I need.
I’m not going to throw out our cool mist unit though, I will look for a new wick and then I will eventually have a backup.
So there you have it, an FYI on humidifiers J

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Birthdays at Pizza Hut?

Ok so this is specific to OUR pizza hut on the blvd here in Nampa but other pizza Huts may consider doing this I guess if you asked.When Aaron and my Dad came home one day after picking up dinner talking about how Pizza Hut does birthday parties and they only charge for the food and will put on the whole party for pretty much nothing. I thought it was WAY too good to be true and didn't think much of it. We got to talking about it a few weeks later and I decided to give them a call and the manager atthe Pizza Hut even remember the conversation. Sure enough he said he would supply the decorations, and a clown and put on a party for no extra charge. I booked the party right away. I have never considered anything except at home parties for the kids so this is a step outside my comfort zone.
I preordered our pizzas the week before so they could be sure to have enough (thanks seriously for all those timely RSVPs). I talked to the manager the day before the party and we were essentially assigned a waitress. She did the shopping for the party, gave me her cell number, asked for specifics, she thought of everything!
When we got there it was all set up minus a few last minute touches. They seriously HAD thought of EVERYthing!!!! The theme was cookie monster and everything was blue and white. They had a kid's table set up with sesame themed plates and napkins, there were balloons, games were set up, they had cookies sitting out and had even gone and bought milk to go with the cookies. They even had coloring pages and had ripped out all of the Cookie Monster sheets out of several coloring books.

All I brought and had to worry about was the cupcakes, people, and money. True enough; it was all free except for the cost of food and with the any size any topping for $10 deal they have going, it was truely a good deal.
They were more than prepared for us and very flexable and accomodating. 

We asked if Davin could blow out candles on his favorite pizza (chicken pizza) and they came up with a way to do it inspite of the pizza being hot. I forgot our candles and they had thought to even get back ups. Seriously, I have never had sucha  stress free party. The clown entertained the kids (who weren't scared of him)

I have nothing but good things to say about our experiance and I would totally recommend if you ever get the chance to do something like this to go ahead and try it.

4 dozen cupcakes

I had the brilliant idea to do these cute cookie moster cupcakes for Davin's birthday. I stole the idea from another blog called Everyday Celebrating. I wanted to share these because they turned out really cute and I think you could probably do a whole lot of other characters if you thought it through.

 The directions are on the link I included and I will give that gal all the credit. My review of this idea is that it is very EASY! It goes pretty fast and turns out super cute. I did a couple of thing differently though; I used black frosting for the eyes and I used a little squeezy thing instead of a pastry bag. I like the squeezy thing because when I use a pastry bag I usually wear more frosting than the cake cuz that's how I roll. I used a big star tip instead of the small star tip and I honestly like mine better because I think he looks furrier.

Also, for the best cookie monster cupcakes it's best to put the eyes right next to each other and make the pupils look cross eyed a little bit. No one specifically said that anywhere else, and I found that my crosseyed ones look way better that the others I made before I figured that out.
So I made about 42 cupcakes in our house that equals out to about 3 dozen decorated party ready cupcakes.

Friday, October 7, 2011

hair cut

Armed with some borrowed clippers, a 20 minute YouTube video, and my shaky confidence I decided my son needed a haircut.

I set out to keep the top long and trim up the sides and make the cutest little boy cut ever!

I even let Davin watch the YouTube video with me so he wouldn't be scared because he HATES getting his hair cut and I thought if I did it then maybe he wouldn't freak out. I will say this; he was a good sport for most of it.

I was supposed to start with the top and work my way down but I decided since I was leaving the top longer that I should start at the bottom. The first swipe of the clippers told me that was a horrible idea. Here I was with my son's beautiful blond hair and a GIANT short chunk missing. I watched all my glorious ideal picture perfect hair cutting plans fall to the floor. So what did I do? I did what anyone would do, I kept going. I decided before I started that my fall back was a Caesar cut and here we were one stroke in giving Davin a Caesar cut. I'm not totally hair illiterate, I used to cut Drew's hair once in a while and I never heard him complain J  

Davin started freaking out because I wasn’t using scissors about ¾ of the way through and it was a combination of hugs, promises of getting a bath that got us through the rest of our ordeal.

I learned a couple of valuable insights to pass on for the rest of you.

1- when you're given a list of things you need, it's a good idea to actually have those things on hand
2- "winging it" and "haircut" should not be used in the same context
3- always cut hair BEFORE bedtime- not 2 hours past bedtime

I will try again and I will be prepared next time. Davin's hair dared to challenge me and now I need to defeat it. 
On the plus side, I think I could probably pull off a fairly decent hair cut for Aaron if he ever got desperate.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

If I hear that one more time...

Ok people, thank you so much for the support in this last week and a half. I need to just say thank you so much for your tolerance and your love while I lost my head and tried to figure out life with a chunk of myself missing. I know I haven't been myself and I wish I could tell you that I'm back to normal. But I'm not. I was listening to one of my favorite songs yesterday and I just wasn't feeling it. In fact I didn't even relate to it anymore and it seriously was one of my favorite songs. No, it wasn't Dolly; I'm not THAT far gone. Anyway it got me to thinking about how I was different. Like it or not I am different. I think half of grieving is trying to accept the fact that you will never be the same and the sooner you figure out that you're different the better off you will be and the sooner you can figure other stuff out. It's like when someone you love dies you get shattered into a million pieces. Grieving is how you pick up the pieces and when you realize that you don't have all the pieces you realize that you are different and you have to figure out how to put all the pieces together and you don't know how you will turn out but you won't be the same.

Anyway, all that said I need to say something else. I know that people are trying to help when they say things like "Drew can be normal now" and "he's running with Jesus" and "he can finally talk and walk". Thank you for your kind intentions but I need to tell you the truth. You are not helping and in fact, your words hurt. It is only a small comfort knowing that he's in heaven. As time goes on I'm sure it will be a bigger comfort but you need to understand that a huge piece of me is dead. Drew was always there and I thought he would always be there. He helped to shape me into the person I am today and now he's gone. With the help of my wonderful husband I am just beginning to wrap my mind around the fact that life is going to go on but it is so hard to hear the phrases I mentioned.
Here's why:
Because the one thing in the world that Drew wanted was acceptance and just to love and be loved. He was happy! He was not tortured, he was not unhappy, he didn't mind who he was. I asked him, we talked. And before you dismiss me let me share something with you. Drew and I had an understanding, we communicated in a way. He was happy just the way he was and I saw his will to live a few times when he shouldn't have pulled through. Now, obviously Drew was ready to move on. He prepared me in ways that I didn't realize until after he was gone and he slipped away peacefully. People never did give that boy enough credit....
Anyway when people say things like "now he can be normal" it tells me that you still just don't get it. You still view him as the poor kid who was trapped inside a body that didn't work. Like I said, I appreciate the intention behind your remarks but to me it says that even in death Drew isn't getting acceptance for who he was. The beautiful thing in all of this that I am reminded of is that Drew didn't even care. He loved whoever he was with and lived in the moment. Sure, people hurt his feelings and I saw it in his eyes when he understood that he was being excluded but in the next breath he was just happy to be with you in that moment. He forgave so easily and whether you saw him yesterday or a year ago he was so happy just to see you and be with you. Does that sound like someone who was tortured and trapped in their body? Or... does it sound like someone who loved life and made the very best out of what he had?
Do you believe he really was in there? It's not really my problem if you don't because I know that he was and I know it's the truth. Did you know in the last year he showed marked improvement in his communication? He was able to continue going to developmental therapy because medicaid could prove that he had shown charted improvement. I'm so proud of that for him. So please realize before you speak (even with good will) that your remarks are not always comforting and in fact can be frustrating because I see that he still is not accepted for who he was the way he way. Yes, I know and believe that in heaven he is fully functional but I don't think it matters whether he has a heavenly body or an earthly body; he has and always will be a WHOLE, pure, beautiful, happy soul.

I heard from a counselor to take to heart people's intentions rather than their words and for your good intentions no matter who you are or what you have said I am truly grateful.

Monday, September 26, 2011

not just another kid

18 years ago I met the sweetest and arguably the purest person I would ever love.
We laughed and played through elementary school. We cruised through Jr. High and it was at that time partly inspired by him I decided that I should go into special ed as a  career. I was drawn to this amazing population and firmly tethered to them by my Drew.
If you didn't know him, when you first looked at Drew you would see a boy in a wheelchair who couldn't walk or talk. If you were meeting Drew for the very first time you might wonder if he understood you or how much of him was really there at all.

Drew pre-dates all of my other friends and has been a major part of my life.
He's not just another one of "my kids", when I told someone about Drew recently they said "this is the downfall of our profession, we lose kids". It's true; when you work with kids who have various abilities sometimes their bodies just get tired. I've lost kids before and yes it sucks. But that's not what Drew was to me. I respect other's point of view and I know we are all different.
He was MY Drew-bug, my forever boyfriend, my little brother from another mother, my friend. He held up his end of the friendship. That's what people don't always understand. I wasn't being kind to this disabled kid by calling him my friend. We communicated in our own way. We shared secrets and laughed. He showed approval and disapproval for my boyfriends and I helped him pick out his clothes. He grounded me and gave me perspective and I gave him a heck of a ride along the way. Even when I fell short he was still there patiently waiting with a smile. Drew deserved everything we could give him. He knew what was going on around him and he wanted to be a part of it.

I would like to think that Drew showed people to look below the surface. If you took the time to look him in the eyes and talk to him you could see his enthusiasm and engaging personality. He never complained and in the few times I ever saw Drew unhappy it was heart wrenching. He was patient and had a sense of humor. I didn't automatically know how to do things for him. I started learning in Jr high by learning to feed him and after high school I learned the rest of it. I made mistakes along the way and he was always there to laugh at me. (Of course there was the occasional angry snort if I accidentally twisted his arm getting him dressed or hit a sensitive spot while brushing his teeth.) Mostly though my mishaps were his entertainment.

I could talk about him forever because 18 years is a gift. I admit I took a lot for granted with Drew because he had always been there I assumed he would always be there. I hate it when people say things like "you're such a good person" and talk about how I'm the good one for taking care of him. It isn't true. I didn't do anything that a friend wouldn't do and if you think differently then maybe you need better friends. Yeah... that came out a little rough... but it's true from my point of view.
He wasn't any different than anyone else and I have never understood why anyone though he was.
He did things that everyone else does.

He supported me with a smile.

Now my wonderful friend is gone.
His poor body was tired and he can do so much more from heaven.
It is SO hard for me to think of a world with out Drew.

I'm told that writing this is going to help me to accept this nightmare.
Maybe it will...
More than that though I want people to know about Drew. I want you to understand that he wasn't just some mindless kid in a wheelchair and that he was a good and faithful friend to a lot of people.
His last act was a gift of life. Drew's family courageously decided to donate his organs and he was able to donate a number of things and give 4 or 5 other people a chance. I don't know about anyone else but I am somewhat comforted in knowing that this wonderful pure heart lives on in someone else.
There at least a thousand of things that I have learned from our Drewser and I'm still learning.
I have heard people say that his life was probably torture for him and that he went through everything so needlessly but I don't see it that way. He has met thousands of people and he touched everyone of them. Drew lit up the world with his laugh and everyone took away something different from knowing him. I can tell you first hand that he was awfully happy for someone who was supposedly so tortured. He loved his mom, he loved his brothers, he loved his teachers and caregivers, and he loved me unconditionally.

I am so blessed to have shared a love so amazing that it hurts this much to say goodbye.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The anti-bottle movement

I have successfully been able to  breastfeed my baby for 3 months now. I am proud of this accomplishment and it's more than I have ever been able to do before.

I have been struggling for about a week and a half though with my milk supply. I have been here before and I know how it's going to end. Sadly though I go through this whole battle with myself every time. I was seeking counsel with a friend today and I got some encouragment and also some release from the guilt I feel for not being able to feed my own babies.

I have news; it's not within my control! I didn't realize it was connected; but apparently my auto immune disease and my ability to produce enough milk are linked. Why has no one told me these things?!?! Knowing that it's not anything that I'm doing wrong, I'm not lazy, I'm not making bad choices... I'm just a little defective and I can't control it!

So why is it that a mom should ever feel guilty for not breastfeeding? I think part of it is honestly instinct but what about the constant media and medical community telling you to breastfeed and it's the best and you want to give your baby the best. So you are made to feel bad that you can't do the very best for your baby. I think it's B.S. Some of us have actually tried everything.

I thought that maybe speaking out would not only allow me some release but also to maybe reach out to some other poor soul who has the same struggles. Formula these days is a good thing, its comparable. I was formula fed as was my husband. I think I turned out ok and no one should feel bad for something beyond their control.

This has been an ongoing private struggle for me and I'm not going to do it anymore. I don't want to keep quiet about something that could help someone else. I don't know why women (myself included) feel like they can't talk about things like this but it's more common than you know and there's nothing to be ashamed of.
That's what I learned today. Maybe it will help someone else as much as it helped me.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Great Apron Adventure

This is one of those crafts that in my experience does NOT pay to do it yourself.

First of all you need to know that this is way cuter in person though it is a little big. JoAnns had a huge sale for labor day weekend. Patterns were 99 cents and I had some major coupons for fabric. I saw some cute aprons on sale for like $15 a while back but I thought I could do it cheaper and that it would be fairly easy.

I was wrong!!!

Not only did it end up costing a little more than the aprons I saw on sale but it was a huge amount of time and effort put forth. I spent about 8 hours making this apron and it was not a hard task but it was a pain.

Unless you have done maybe 20 of these just for practice I would say just go ahead and buy a freaking apron. It was truly an adventure, it was a long, tedious, expensive adventure. My sweet husband spent his evening taking care of our children and made dinner to let me finish this project. All I have to say is.... this apron better last me a life time because I feel likeI have a lot invested in it.

I did learn a new valuable skill though; I learned how to make ruffles!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Growing up

Do you ever have one of those days?

Some days it seems like the only thing we do is child training.
We actually had a very good morning. We went to the park in the spur of the moment and joined a group of friends. We had a wonderful time!

This afternoon is a different story and it seems that no matter what I do Davin will not lay down for more than 10 minutes of quiet time. It's been a 2 hour battle! Now that it has been made into a full blown battle I can't very well back down but I can re-think my technique in the future. A timer? More prep work before rest time?

The only problem is that this isn't just a rest time battle. This is my baby boy entering his 3s. Whoever coined the phrase "terrible twos" never spent much time with a 3 year old. If he's anything like Cole though I can be reassured in the fact that our training challenges will evolve when he turns 4.
4 year olds are like mini teenagers. Cole seems to be more obedient in the basic ways which is encouraging but he has more drama and is discovering new fears that he didn't have before.

When they were babies I couldn't wait to see their new stages and discoveries. Some days like today though it's everything I can do to hang on to that attitude. It's so easy to get caught up in the moment and you won't know what they will remember.
For example; I had a good childhood and I'm sure that my dad and I had more good times than bad. The few memories I have of being the boys' ages though are being mostly of being spanked or yelled. Now, my dad is a good dad and we are close so I know that I wasn't punished excessively but that's what stuck with me. I don't want that for my kids but I admit that I struggle to remember that on days like today.

Kids are a lot of work and some days it feels like all you do is discipline them. rumor has it that it you put the work in now while they are little they will be more receptive to guidance and instruction later. We do this because if we can't teach them to hear our voice then how can we ever expect them to hear God? These are my thoughts for the day and as I train up my children and they help me refine my own imperfections in my attitude I think we will be reading the story of Samuel at bed time.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

potty training- the final frontier

I honestly don't remember much about my own potty training. I remember having 2 accidents and as I recall; I had an accident because I either didn't realize I had to go until the last minute or there wasn't a chance to go and I couldn't hold it. I don't know how it feels to be a little boy but I do my best to make this a simple process.


Good gracious son, lets get our potty on already!
He has made some progress, he will go on command if you ask him. That doesn't mean however that he won't go in between. He also has never gone #2 in the potty... ever!
I thought perhaps if I made his diapers more uncomfy by swtiching to cloth then he would be more motivated but as it turns out he could care less and I really hate cleaning toddler cloth diapers. I will be investing in a diaper sprayer when Faith gets to be that big.
I have tried rewards and negative reinforcement! I have been frustraited and patient. Davin is almost 3 years old and he is VERY VERY ready but in his mind he just isn't ready. He wants to be big and to do this but he just lacks the drive to follow through with it. I hope this isn't a life pattern. I recently told him he couldn't turn 3 until he is potty trained. He says he likes to be 2. Nice huh?
Yes, I do realize that he has all the tools and will just do it when he is ready. It is frustraiting on my part to know that he knows how but is in fact CHOOSING not to do this!!!
Just today he asked to wear underwear and we talked about how he needs to potty in the toilet and he understood me. A little later I asked him to sit on the potty and he refused. Instead of the battle I decided to give him 5 minutes and then make him go and try. In those 5 short minutes he had an accident. I had asked to go and I feel like he chose to have an accident! Who does that?!?!?!?! As a mom who has never actually had to potty train a child (since cole potty trained himself) I am out of ideas and I'm having to seriously pray about my own attitude in this matter because I'm out of tolerance in some cases as well.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

a reflection

On my facebook I commented that I felt like June Cleaver on steroids.
The 1st question I got was "who is June Cleaver?" and the second question was "why?"

To answer the first question; June cleaver is the mom in a sitcom that ran from 1957-1963. It is about your typical all american family.

 June Cleaver is this ideal wife and mom. She stays home and cooks and cleans and never gets stressed and always has it together. She's there whenever you need her and she is always one step ahead of her children. She's the kind of wife and mom and that any man and child would want and every woman wanted to be.

So... why would I say that I feel like June cleaver on steroids?
Let me give you a glimpse into my regular activities. Daily; I home school, go to school full time, keep my house clean, keep up with 3 kids and 2 dogs, and take care of my family. Other activities in my life that happen at various regular intervals include AWANA, hosting a core group (bible study), home school co-op where the kids can get some social interaction, 2 monthly groups for moms, book club, and helping with various women's ministry functions (this fall is women's retreat and my job is hospitality).
The crazy thing about all that and my cause for identifying with June cleaver is that I'm actually pulling it all off!

I'm still learning so much about home organization and child training and time management but we are doing really well. I know that so many other moms do the same stuff and even more but if you had asked me when we first got married if I could picture myself in this successful domestic role I would have thought you were nuts. I never really knew where I fit in as far as what kind of adult I would be. Life just sort of happened to us in the last 5 or so years and I have been running to keep up ever since. I love that I am in my element right now. This IS me, this is what I'm supposed to do and I'm good at it. The only other setting I feel this good in is when I'm working in special ed. I love it when God makes life so clear. Sometimes it's an uphill battle and we walk that path on our knees but it's a lot easier when you know that at least it's the right path.

Friday, August 19, 2011

a website review ~!!buyer beware!!~

I recently bought a book from via my android phone. After purchasing the book I was asked to get registered with some random for of adobe that I have never heard of. I tried several times to register and it said I wasn't "authorized". I was unable to download the book that I had just paid for. I emailed the company within hours. I didn't hear back and I purchased the book from another source. I continued to try to solve my technical problem by working with both sprint tech support and aldiko to try to at least get  it on my PC. After a few business days I email the company that sold me the book and demanded a refund. They were very prompt in getting back to me to tell me I couldn't get a refund. they didn't offer any exchanges either by the way. They did offer a few trouble shooting tips but I had already tried all those things. I informed them that I had already taken many reasonable measure and even tried thing above and beyond what you might expect. This company which put me off for 4 days has been very diligent today in fighting every word I say to them via email. They are polite but unreasonable.

So I ask you; is it fair that I paid for a book and did not receive the book? Is this on the company or should I just swallow the losses. I feel robbed. I would equate this to buying a book from someone like borders or something over the phone or online and choosing in store pick up. Now say my car broke down and was not fixable in the foreseeable future and despite many efforts to make it to the store to get my purchase I am unable. In this theoretical situation Borders has nothing to do with my unfortunate transportation problem but would be obligated to give me a refund and re shelf the book for someone else to buy since I never did obtain possession of my purchase.
Isn't that the same thing as what's happening to me here?

So why is this seller (feedbooks) stealing my money?!?!

I am invoking my right to free speech and telling you to wary of this website. not all devices are compatible with any of  the venues available to download their books and there is no way of finding that out until after you have made a purchase. There is also no recourse for you to take against them except for word of mouth. I lost $10 and learned a valuable lesson. I will not be buying any more digital books unless it's from Amazon or Google books since I know that they are reputable companies and have had good experiences with them. I'm sure there are thousands of people who have had good experiences with this website but I am one person whose technology isn't compatible with their books and wasn't given the chance to find that out until after my purchase. Even if I were suddenly able to download their books I would not purely out of principal because of the way I have been treated.

shoes with holes

I have the best hunny and he makes it so easy to want to submit to him. I wanted to take a minute and share him with you. God knew what he was doing in putting us together because I have a very defiant personality, I have a hard time submitting to God let alone another person. I struggle in that area but Aaron makes me want to try harder and keep trying.

Have you ever met one of those people who are extremely low maintenance? You know? I'm talking about the ones who go about their lives and humbly dig in and do their work with very little complaint.

The other day I was picking up the house and I went to put away Aaron's work shoes. When I picked them up I saw that they were just about completely worn through. He hadn't said a word about  his shoes being in such bad condition. I was touched at that moment. The way I see it my husband goes to work everyday; he doesn't complain and he works hard in all kinds of weather. He just keeps trucking and there were giant holes in his shoes! I thought about my own attitude sometimes.
I am not a low maintenance person.
I admit it.
I keep an eye on things and always worry about stuff and if my shoes get worn out I figure out how to get new ones and I'm not quiet about it either. The only exception is flip flops. I love a good pair of worn out flip flops.
Aaron is the kind of person who doesn't worry about much, he doesn't throw a fit, and he accepts what he's given. If he sees a problem he deals with it. He thinks things through and manages to navigate our family through the tightest of situations despite my best unconscious efforts. He doesn't need immediate gratification and he asks for very little. He eats what I cook, he wears what I wash when I wash it, and best of all he puts up with all my shenanigans. AND he does it all with a sense of humor and a gentle spirit.
I am so blessed to be married to someone like Aaron. (especially when I'm the polar opposite)
Thank you hunny for being wonderful you.
I always try to be a good me but Aaron teaches me by example how to be a better person.
 He is truly a righteous man of God.
....I don't think he would ever admit it though cuz he pretty freakin' humble too.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

One day at a time

Yesterday my baby was 9 weeks old and it was a personal milestone for me. I know that breast is best and priviously I was able to breastfeed Cole for 6 weeks and Davin for 8 weeks. My goal each time is to do my best and beat my previous time.
It has been a struggle for me honestly. I'm not sure why but after a time I previously have hit a rut and then I lost my supply. In spite of my best efforts and all those herbal helpers I always ended up giving in and switching to formula. When I switched to formula with Davin it was after confirming that he was only getting about 1/2 ounce of milk from me in each feeding.
After 9 weeks I am happy to say that I have a chubby well fed baby and all in all we have been very successful so far!
Here are some things I have learned that might help others who struggle in this area.
  • WATER!!!!- like gallons of water. I have to drink massive quantities of water to keep my supply up. Personally I think I drink more than the average breastfeeding mom but who knows.
  • RELAX- I don't worry about how much she's getting or how long she feeds as much as I did with the boys. She is gaining weight, she's satisfied, and she feeds as long as she wants to. Seriously I think I jinxed myself by being so meticulous. 
  • "JUST KEEP SWIMMING"- LOL like Dorey on Finding Nemo; just keep swimming! I have so scared the first time I had to give Faith a bottle because she went through a growth spurt and my supply hadn't caught up. She was inconsolable and I felt like I was repeating history all over again. I thawed out some milk I had stored up and I made Aaron feed her because I don't want her to associate me with a bottle at all. She had her first bottle about a week and a half ago. It's not a nightly thing but every so often she will be SO hungry and there simply isn't anything I can do. The key I think is to just move on. Pump while the baby is eating that way you're stimulating your supply but the baby is getting fed too. They also make contraptions that fit on you and have a little tube so the baby thinks she is feeding and she's stimulating you to make more but the milk is coming from a bottle so the baby is getting fed. I might try to track one of these things down.
These are things that have helped me to know but everyone is different. Not all women will give in and feed their baby. I have seen many women who grin and bear it and work through those difficult nights when their supply comes up short. I know lots of gals who have never had that problem. Take what you can use here and throw away the rest. The biggest thing I have learned in this process is that everyone is so different and all the well meaning advice and wonderful counsel in the world didn't always help me. It took 3 kids and I had to make things come together on my own. There was no magical solution; it is what it is. Faith uses a pacifier and has had a bottle and does very well. I'm convinced that those things really played a big part in my lack of success with the boys. She will feed anywhere in just about any position while the boys were very picky. Part of these differences I'm sure was my own hesitation and anxiety so relax, drink a couple gallons of water and do your best!

I did find a link to a page with a product like what I described before if you're interested.
If you search for it on google try the term Lactation Aid versus breastfeeding aids because you will get a whole lot of info on breastfeeding and HIV/AIDS.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

cloth wipes... am I crazy?

I use cloth diapers to save money. I could claim I'm in it for the betterment of my baby and the environment too but it really all just boils down to money. There are some pitfalls to cloth diapers. I don't mind the laundry, I don't mind the couple extra minutes it takes for each diaper change, I don't mind the bulky nature of cloth either. In fact I think the puffy diaper butt is kind of cute :-)
The thing I hate is the wipes! I hate how I have to pick out the wipes and touch the poo all over again and if I don't get them all then they leave white wispy stuff all over my cloth diapers. Grrrrrr!!!
I had thought of clothe wipes when I invested in cloth diapers and at first I was kind of grossed out by it. Why would I want to wash and reuse not only my diapers but my wipes too?!?! Plus, have you seen what people charge for the courtesy of reusing your wipes. Cloth wipes are like $12+ per dozen! Holy cow! Seriously?!?!
Well, last week after shelling out another $10 just for wipes for the 8th week in a row I decided that I'm tired of essentially putting poop on money and throwing it away.
Now before you really think I have gone off the deep end please know that there are things I will not do and big kid poop is one of those things. Davin poops once a day and I do not plan to reuse anything associated with that daily ritual. He wears disposable diapers over nap time which is when he usually gets stinky and I plan to use disposable wipes in that scenario as well. Newborn baby poop though is really no big deal and I have no problem with it. I'm just tired of touching it twice when it comes to having to sift through the dirty cloth diaper to fish out the wipes to throw them away.
I don't know about you  but I'm a bit short on disposable income both for disposable wipes and investing in cloth. Then I had an idea; a crafty idea!

I started looking at these wipes as closely as online pictures would let me. They are made of flannel. Hmmmm... What are receiving blankets made of? Flannel! We have a TON of receiving blankets and there are a few that really aren't my favorite. We have way more than Faith ever goes through in a week. You see where I'm going with this....
Step one:
Sacrifice some blankets and scrap cloth. I kind of eye balled the size using the bottom of my wipe box and I made them square. Some are lopsided but who cares? Seriously, it's going to wipe my baby's butt it doesn't have to be perfect; it just needs to be sturdy.

Step two:
I used a zigzag stitch and doubled my rectangular cutouts (making them square) because I noticed that a lot of the flannel wipes you buy are in fact 2 ply. I stitched around the edges and then just once diagonally across so it will hold its shape after I wash them. I don't want them to get all bunched up in the dryer.

So this is my finished product. I used 2 blankets and some random flannel scraps I had stashed in my fabric drawer. I ended up with 30 cloth wipes, from what I gathered most people do well with 2 dozen wipes.

So how do I like using cloth wipes?
I love my cloth wipes. I can clean a mess with 1 wipe that it would normally take me 3 disposable. The wipes are super soft and the best thing of all is that I can throw the whole bundle into the laundry bucket and not worry about it! For me if you're using cloth diapers it is MORE convenient to use cloth wipes as well.
There are two ways to use them; the wet method and the dry method. I don't have a wipe warmer for the wet method and I don't like the idea of having to be vigilant because your wipes could start to grow mold. I have read if you use the wet method you should use your wipes with in 48 hours and clean out your container. I use the dry method for now and I keep my wipes in an old wipe container and I have a little water bottle with some water. I did add a TINY bit of baby lotion to my water because it seemed like a good idea at the time and it smells nice. I squirt a wipe or two with water prior to cleaning off the baby as I need to. Some people squirt the baby and use a spray bottle. Some people just run to the sink and wet them down. I haven't quite settled on a storage and usage method yet I don't think. If I got a hold of a wipe warmer I would probably give the wet method a try, I might put maybe 6 wipes in the box and try the cold wet method using only a few at a time because I seriously don't like the idea of mold.

Yup I know what you're thinking, I am putting way too much thought into this.
The truth is that I'm caught up on my chores and I'm having fun experimenting with different thing while I wait for our homeschooling curriculum to come in.