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.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Potty Training adventures continue

I'm not pushing.
Davin is capable and willingly goes potty when asked... most of the time. He won't initiate it though.
I decided to try a different approach since he doesn't seem to mind if he's clean or dirty. (He knows i will change him sooner or later.)
I'm just so tired of buying diapers!!!! I bought him 2 diaper covers and put him in cloth. Maybe if the diapers are a whole lot less comfortable he will want to stay dry... maybe not but at least I will be saving money in the meantime.
Incentives don't work, pull ups are a joke, and he could care less if he succeeds or not. We have even pushed him a little with a bit of negative reinforcement and he doesn't seem to care. People assure me that he WILL potty train eventually but here's hoping I can jumpstart the process.

Any thoughts?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Do unto the glory...

I have been praying on something lately and I FINALLY had my "aha!" moment. I wanted to blog it for 2 reasons: 1) so I don't forget it later. 2) some of you may relate or it might help someone else.

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatever ye do, do all things to God's glory."
1 Corinthians 10:31

This was in a sermon a while back and it's been on my heart ever since. What does that mean anyway?
Aaron says it means doing things with your whole heart whether you want to or not. He said you don't have to like it you just have to do it knowing that it is where the lord put you. My husband is very wise and I find his insights helpful. This time though his words didn't make sense in my brain; it all just doesn't add up. for me anyway...
It all started when....
the laundry piled up, the house was a mess, there were dogs making messes, and kids making messes and screaming, and my world was full of chaos. I had JUST cleaned the house and here it was all falling apart at the seams. Sound familiar? In my house this is a daily frustrating occurrence. I know I'm supposed to be home right now. I know it is my job to raise my kids and keep my home in this season of my life. I go to school to do what God set on my heart almost 20 years ago but for everything there is a time and now is the time to raise up my children in this tender stage in their lives. Lately though it seems like it really is a job. To be honest; I do not delight in my home or my children always. I feel guilty because this is where I am and how can I not LOVE it all the time? How can I not seize every opportunity to train my children with a joyful heart? How do I not ALWAYS realize that my children are innocent and it is my job to shape them and realize that their actions are mearly a reflection of my own? My children are not my own, they are a gift and God has trusted me with them with a purpose in mind. Out of ALL the babies in the world God gave me these 3. So how is it that I find myself yelling at them with memories of my own childhood in mind? How is it that I can be lazy and begrudging in keeping my house and taking care of my family. I have news for you; I AM A LAZY PERSON by nature. I like to do what I like to do when I like to do it and often I do NOT like to do dishes and laundry and pick up the floor for the zillionth time that day. Why can life not be easier? Why can my character not just be good enough? Why am I stuck in this stupid cycle of bringing my impurities to the top and mixing them back in again?

Today as I did the dishes (again) I had an epiphany. To help anyone else who might be as imperfect as I am and struggle in similar ways let me show you my thought process.
please bear with me as I spider web my thoughts

-When you are struggling with believing or thinking a certain way, just act. Just do whatever you can in the right direction and the rest will follow. I heard this about 10 years ago in a different sermon in a different time in my life and I wish that Pastor Johnny knew how much this has helped me through the years.
    So as I struggle with the process of "doing everything for the God's glory" I have decided to buckle down and just go through the motions with the intent of changing my heart.

-Today I was thinking and griping to myself at the sink and I finally stopped and just listened. FINALLY I just listened! God was able to slip in a word edgewise much to his relief and mine. "what would you rather be doing" he said to me. and I thought "huh... what would I rather be doing?" working? waitressing? sitting in a classroom? laying on the warm sand in a Caribbean location with a pina colada feeling with tide come in while the kids laugh in the distance? Mmmmmm.... Yes God, I vote for the Caribbean! "Yes Kristi, I could have put you in the Caribbean. BUT... I DIDN'T!" God answers. "You are here in Nampa Idaho standing at your kitchen sink talking to yourself."
The reality is that I am in fact in Nampa Idaho with no realistic future plan of laying on a warm beach sipping tropical drinks while my children laugh while running hand in hand with Elmo in the distance.
yes, I have seen 1 too many Sandals commercials during sesame street :-)

God put me here NOW. This IS what I'm supposed to be doing so why not do it gladly? If this is good enough for God then why is it not good enough for me? **::blush::** Another verse comes to my mind

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men..."
Colossians 3:23

Because in reality it doesn't matter who we please if we don't please God. We may be saved but being saved (to me) indicates a desire for continuous improvement in the direction of being Christ-like. I AM working for the lord and that is enough.
Have you ever felt him? REALLY felt him? If you have you know that there is nothing better. He is enough! Laying on the warm sand anywhere is nothing compared to that feeling. It is like being warm and loved beyond comprehension, your worst fears don't scare you and the saddest things in your mind cannot even begin to dampen the comfort that you feel when God gives you a hug. If you have never felt like that you just need to ask with an open heart :-)

So when you feel discouraged I would encourage you to hold on to that feeling and realize for whom you do everything. I am no one special any more than anyone else but yes, God does care about my attitude and I know that it makes him sad when I am disgruntled at a task that he had in mind for me. If God put me at home so purposefully then that means that yes, even the dishes and the laundry need to be done with a cheerful heart because it really isn't much to ask and even though it seems like so little to offer and it seems like God wouldn't care how you do the dishes or even if they get done; he does in a way. He cares because those things are part of a bigger picture. The little stuff adds up and when I finally realized that I felt ashamed that I had let these little things trip me up and affect my attitude the way they have.

This thought process is what it means to be refined in one little way from those impurities that rise to the top when our lives get heated up.
I have SO much to learn and I can only pray that I can hold on to this lesson and not fall so easily back into my classic patterns. Someday I'm going to look back at my foolish self and laugh knowing that I will always be foolish in many ways.

When you think about it... it's kind of beautiful the way we stumble through life.