Friday, October 31, 2014

Mastitis and Halloween

Found out today that I have this.

Nursing ladies, if you haven't had it, I pray that you never get it.

I knew I had a block all day yesterday. I tried nursing that side only, like you are supposed to, but it didn't help. By yesterday evening, I felt like I had the full-blown flu. We were picking up stuff for trunk-or-treat and I was just sore everywhere and nauseous.

I went to bed with chills and body aches. Didn't realize this was related to my breast pain, just thought I was sick as well. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling worse and so it continued.

At work today I knew something was wrong. I just kept getting worse. The body aches make it difficult to move. I called the doctor who confirmed mastitis and sent me a prescription.

If you are nursing and feel like you have the flu, don't wait to call! I can't pick up my prescription until I get off work, and I don't know how I am going to make it! And of course it's Halloween and we have a car in trunk-or-treat. Here's hoping I make it there in one piece.

I am so grateful for modern medicine.

Update from later on Halloween:

I head to church straight after picking up my prescription. By the time I get there it's about 6. I am so tired and in pain that it literally hurts to walk. Who knew a clogged duct could cause so much trouble?
But once again, my church family are my heroes.

It was cold outside but Chris had to man his trunk game for the kids who were visiting. Thankfully Sophia's Sunday school teacher was there and was watching Sophia, and another friend was caring for Heidi. I arrived and was able to rest. I also was able to take Sophia around to the trunks and get candy (which she LOVED). She had fun with the games and for the throw a ball through an object games she just ran right up and slam-dunked them all. They also had some face painting, and she got a little snowflake on her cheek.

After Sophia got her candy I took her in to warm up, and another blessing (dressed as the Pastor's wife) helped watch Sophia in the bouncy castle while I nursed Heidi. Then some more ladies helped me out to my car at the end of the night. I went straight to bed when I got home, no appetite so I just slept.

When Chris got home with Sophia (because I left with Heidi and they went to dinner), his dad asked where I was. Chris explained that I wasn't feeling well and had gone straight to bed. Chris' dad, who had also been feeling ill, responded "she's probably got what I have". Chris said he hoped not...

This morning, I still felt awful but have improved throughout the day. Sophia has spent the day dumping out her pumpkin full of candy, playing with the candy, putting it away one by one and describing each one along the way, and repeating. I think the whole gathering candy concept was just too fun!

Here are pictures of Sophia as Doc McStuffins, Chris with his trunk, and Sophia counting her spoils the next day...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Shoes!

Sophia has needed some wintery warmer type of shoes for the past couple of weeks... I mean, it's late October and she is still wearing Keen sandals with socks.

The problem is that it is hard to spend a lot of money on shoes when I know she will outgrow them and only be able to wear them this winter.

I have looked everywhere I have gone, from consignment stores and sales to stores like Target and Walmart to sitores like Stride Rite and either they seem not durable or are $35-40 a pair.

So today we got Heidi's 3 month pictures at JC Penney and I decided to look at their shoes. I found a cute pair of little slip-on Ugg-style boots on sale for $20, but I had a $10 off of $25 coupon that I wanted to use. I looked over at Sophia and she was having a blast looking at Doc McStuffins shoes. There happened to be one pair, and it happened to be in her size, of Doc sneakers on clearance for $10! Awesome! With the coupon I basically got the sneakers free. Awesome! Thank you JC Penney! God answered even my little prayer of finding some good winter/warmer shoes for less money!

Mom Advice

I'm starting to pick up on some tips as I venture through motherhood. Most of these I have learned the hard way. I thought I'd write them for my own benefit as a reminder on "those" days.

1. Give yourself time. For example, if you have a doctor appointment at 10:00 and the office is 15 minutes away, start getting ready around 9:00. You may get there a little early, but it is better than being crazy and frazzled and late. And if you wait until the last minute, when you pick up the baby you will get covered in exorcist-style vomit. Or they will have a massive blowout the second you put them in the car seat. Or the toddler will say "I have to go potty" right when you start to head out the door.

2. You can never have enough extra diapers.  Whatever amount that you think is plenty, add 1 or 2 more. You just never know when your 30 minute errand will turn into 3 hours on the day your baby decides to clean out their system like they are preparing for a colonoscopy.

3. Never say the phrase "I would NEVER *fill in item* with MY child" because you will. I thought I would NEVER try to keep my child quiet/busy with a snack. Then I started grocery shopping with a child.

4. Along those same lines, do not judge another parent for some of those actions, because one day you may be there.

5. Extra snacks are necessary. And I don't mean necessary in the fluffy sense, like ice cream is necessary when you are pregnant, I mean necessary in the real-life can't-do-without way. Like water. Because you will find yourself with a toddler in a grocery cart grabbing at everything they can reach their precious little hands out and grab like a monkey in a banana store BUT if you can hand them a package of fruit snacks, life is 85% easier instantaneously.

6. Don't worry about it. So you try to put your kid in the cart and they pull the flailing limp-noodle routine, right as a parent with perfectly quiet and helpful children walks by, don't worry. Everybody else watching you has been there, is there, or will be there. Probably nobody is calling CPS.  Not having the right water cup or not having apple slices or 'organic' snacks doesn't make you a bad parent. In fact, teaching your child they don't always get their way is to their (and your) advantage.

7. I honestly don't know how nursing mothers go without a nursing cover. Truly, I don't. Maybe my babies were just more dedicated to not being covered, but the whole blanket thing never worked at all. Ever.  Help yourself out, spend the $20 and get a nursing cover. I have done grocery shopping while feeding my kids under these because the nice stiff neck area allows it to be hands free and you can see the baby. Buy one. 

8. Nap time is a battle worth fighting. A two year old does not want to nap. Unfortunately for you, if you let them get away with it you suffer in the long run.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pumping problems

At work I pump 3 times during the day. In the morning I have the most milk, easily filling two 5 oz. bottles and then some.

Today I sat down to pump around 9 am. I have this nice little hands free thing so I can do my work while I am pumping.

Because I had my cover on and was working I wasn't paying attention to the milk.  My leg suddenly was getting very wet and I looked down to see milk leaking all over my work skirt.

Sigh.

When will I learn to bring a change of clothes?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

How I feel about college

I stumbled across a great article on The Blaze by Matt Walsh which I will post below because I want it preserved for my girls to read.

It is about college, and how it's time we stop treating it like the end-all be-all answer to our problems.

You may think me a hypocrite, because I have three college degrees and am working in the field that I went to college for. However,  I realize that I am the exception, not the rule.

When I started college, I wanted to be a speech language pathologist, a career requiring a Master’s degree, then changed my career path to audiologist, a career requiring a doctorate degree. My undergraduate degree in communicative disorders was about as worthless as an English degree. Maybe more so.

That was my first mistake.  I should have chosen a field that did not require additional schooling.

Then I started graduate school. The tuition at my graduate school was about four times more expensive than my undergraduate tuition the first year, and by my 4th year it was about six times more expensive per semester. However, not finishing school left me with a worthless undergraduate degree, so I felt I had no choice but to finish. As you can imagine, my school debt is close to the six figure mark. The career path I have chosen, while there are many benefits, is not known for being extremely well paid. We will be paying school debt until my oldest is in junior high, if not longer.

What makes it really hard is leaving my girls. Sometimes I wonder to myself if I would be able to be a stay at home mom if I hadn't gone to college, but it isn't profitable to think that way. Instead I try to focus on the blessings I do have, such as a very flexible job with a great boss, a wonderful friend and godly woman who watches my girls, and working only 3 days a week.

What is so frustrating about the college system is that I paid for so many classes that are a complete and utter waste of time, yet required to graduate. So much money is wasted this way. A system that is much more hands-on, that doesn't require hours of sitting under leftist professors pushing an agenda, would be much more fruitful for our children and society in general.

I could go on and on about my frustrations and how we could fix it, but I think the article by Matt Walsh does a better job than I could do.

My Fellow Americans, It's Time to Boycott College

By Matt Walsh

My fellow Americans,

Let me tell you a tale.

A friend of mine was recently laid off.

He’s a hardworking kind of guy, so he decided to forgo the customary process of sitting around his house complaining on Facebook that no employers are knocking on his door to compliment his pajamas and offer him six figures to do some Really Important Job. Instead, in a unique and risky strategy, he hit the pavement, actively and aggressively searching for something else. Anything else. “Anything is more lucrative than nothing,” he reasoned, because apparently he doesn’t realize that, these days, nothing can be quite the profitable career.

He told me that he found a couple of openings for management positions at some local retail outlets. A perfect fit, he thought. He has years of experience in retail. He’s managed teams before. He’s younger than me but has over a decade of full time work experience under his belt. Not only that — he’s determined, organized, motivated, intelligent, and reliable. He has all of the requisite qualities and even a bunch of extra qualities that are extremely rare among management types (see: ‘reliable,’ ‘intelligent’).

But he was passed over. Twice.

Twice he’s settled for having his résumé “kept on file” while someone else got the job. And twice the person who got the job was the person who brought less relevant work experience to the table, but had up their sleeve one thing my friend lacks: an expensive piece of paper called a “college degree.”

If you’re not familiar with it, a college degree is a thing that we tell our kids to buy with money they don’t have, in hopes that it will help them make money they might earn, which will give them the ability to pay back the money they spent in order to make the money they’re paying it back with.

This piece of paper is very important.

It’s almost as important as teaching our children how to be fiscally responsible.

So the shocking twist at the end of my friend’s story isn’t that surprising to most of us. It’s a story that’s been repeated time and time again, all over the country, for decades.

Now, is there any conceivable reason why you need an additional four years of formal education to effectively oversee a team of iPad salesmen?

Can anyone seriously argue that spending 48 months on a college campus better prepares you for a retail environment than spending 7 years in a retail environment?

If, through some very bizarre set of circumstances, your life depended on finding someone who could function effectively at any particular job, would you place your fate in the hands of a guy who frequently read about the job over someone who’s been too busy successfully doing it?

Moreover, if we look at the great leaders of human history (something you can do even without a college degree, thanks to inventions such as Google and libraries) can you build a convincing case that leadership qualities are more often learned in academic buildings than developed out in the wilderness of the real world?

Is a college degree actually a necessary ingredient for success in the vast majority of professions?

No, no, no, no, and definitely not.

It’s not a need. Most tasks in life only require someone with the skill, competency, and desire to complete them, not the academic credentials to write papers about them.

“Here is what the position entails. If you can’t do any of this, we will pay you to stay home and compose thoroughly researched essays on the subject.” – No interviewer I’ve ever encountered.

Most jobs are learned by doing.

Most talents are honed through action.

I have another friend in the opposite situation. He graduated from a good university and now has a high paying job (that he hates, by the way) where he sits at a desk and enters numbers into a computer. He could not have gotten this job without his educational credentials, but he will be the first to tell you that his degree is in no way, shape, or form actually necessary to perform his daily duties. All he really needs are fingers and a high tolerance for mundane tasks. The college degree is irrelevant. Or should be.

Sure, there are some fields — astrophysicist, surgeon, engineer, Pope, etc. — that must undoubtedly necessitate further education, but these are in the minority. In the predominance of cases, the best man for the job is the man who can do the job, and the best way to know if a man can do the job is by seeing if he’s ever done the job, or some kind of job in any way similar to it.

Yet, still, proponents and propagators of our modern attitude towards higher education will point out that college graduates from any major earn a better income than the average person without a degree. Actually needed or not, they say, it makes no difference. It’s needed according to the rules of the game, and we all have to play the game even if nobody knows why we’re playing it.

Companies want to see that college degree. Sensible or completely and totally insane, it doesn’t matter. Eventually elementary school janitors will need a doctorate in Vomit Cleanup. That’s just the way it is, we’re told.

Outside of a few specific professions, your ability to succeed in the vast majority of occupational fields should not depend on your liberal arts degree. Should not. But it does, because that’s how it is. Why is it this way? Because. Just because.

Throughout the past several decades, our country has developed a system. That system, I’m informed, requires virtually every 18-year-old to purchase a 70 thousand dollar education and spend four years playing beer pong in their friend’s off campus apartment, before entering the working world without any practical experience doing anything productive or valuable. We give out massive loans to kids who don’t have jobs, let alone financial assets of any kind, and celebrate while millions of young people begin their adult lives drowning in a river of booze and debt.

Worse, people get degrees and increasingly discover that they can’t find a job to pay for the degree, so they summarily return to school to get another degree, hoping more debt will help in their quest to pay off their debt. If any normal company scammed their customers the way colleges do, they’d be investigated by the Federal Trade Commission.

And while we continually fortify and reinforce the artificial societal construct that requires a PhD in psychology to work in the HR department at Target, the Internet has opened up a world of information and knowledge to everyone.

Education, in the end, should be pursued for its own sake. We learn because we want to know, and knowledge is beautiful even if it isn’t ‘used.’ Now more than ever, a person can learn anything and acquire any knowledge without spending a dime or sitting for one minute in a college classroom. This is the miraculous reality of modern times. The potential for a person to educate him or herself is limitless — but we think knowledge must be strictly confined behind the walls of an official institution or it doesn’t count.

The point is, college should be more irrelevant than ever. Should be. But instead the fake ‘need’ for a degree becomes ever inflated, to the extent that you now ‘need’ a Master’s to get gigs that pay about what you could make running a full time lemonade stand (although, in fairness, you’d first have to take courses in Lemon Flavored Beverage Sales for 12 years).

All of this, and I’ve said nothing of the horrible, brain cell killing, maturity stunting, hedonistic culture on most college campuses. Aristotle said that education should be designed to make us virtuous. It seems that modern higher education is specifically aimed at doing the opposite, which often makes college worse than pointless.

But, alas, this is just the way things work. Sure, yeah, the whole system is broken and confused and harmful, but what can we really do about it?

Well, I’ll tell you what we can do about it.

Don’t go to college.

Don’t encourage your kids to go to college.

OK, if you want to operate on brains or design bridges or do repairs on the International Space Station or enter some other profession that actually (actually — not artificially, not superficially) requires more time in school, then by all means go roll the dice on that six figure loan. It’s a risk, but a calculated and purposeful one

Everyone else: don’t play the game. Boycott college.

If you know what you want to do, go do it. Maybe you should look into a trade school first, or maybe you should just dive in.

If you don’t know what you want to do, get a job doing something until you figure it out. Only a reckless person would spend money on an expensive college education when they haven’t the faintest clue what they’ll even do with it.

You learn what you are meant to do by doing things.

So go do things.

These companies only require degrees because they’re too lazy to put a bit of discernment and creativity into the hiring process. “Must have a bachelor’s degree” is shorthand for “must not challenge us to use a little judgment when considering applicants.” It’s ridiculous and sloppy to toss a thousand resumes into the shredder based on an arbitrary and idiotic educational qualification that has no bearing on the position itself. Employers get away with it because most people mindlessly follow the script.

Go off script and force these people to do their jobs.

If enough people stop buying into this idea that college is a necessary step for literally every human being in the country, then eventually the job market will catch on. And universities will realize they have to work harder to attract students, which means they’ll be forced to stop gouging teenagers out of 80 grand while offering a product that can’t possibly justify the expense. And public schools will have no choice but to stop funneling all of their students down the college pipeline, which might lead to more kids studying subjects that interest them rather than subjects that look good on a college application.

Please understand this: college will not become cheaper, employers will not stop erecting irrelevant barriers to entry, schools will not stop pushing kids in one direction regardless of their unique skills and abilities, and nothing else will get better with any of this until we stop participating in the charade.

We are truly a society of impotent and hopeless sheep if we continue to bankrupt ourselves and our children on a massively overpriced college education just because “it’s what people do.”

It’s only what people do because people do it.

Stop doing it.

College is not fundamentally necessary for most people. It is not inherently worthwhile in most cases. Maybe one day, when it’s 97 percent cheaper and you can easily take classes while working a job and building a functional resume for a legitimate career, it might make real sense for the majority of kids in the country. But not now. Not when, for millions of people, it requires tens of thousand of dollars they don’t have, and it entirely consumes the first four years of their adult lives. That is, until it dumps them off into their mid-twenties devoid of basic experiences doing simple adult things like paying the electric bill and worrying about taxes and forgetting to water the houseplants.

Boycott college.

Free yourselves.

Free your children.

Make your own life.

Teach your kids to live differently, uniquely, individually.

College is not necessary for most of us.

I think it’s time we stop pretending otherwise.

Now go forth and spread the word.

Godspeed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Hard Life

It was a big day for us yesterday, though probably mostly for Sophia. Heidi is still young enough that changes don't seem to matter much. As I mentioned recently, Sophia has a cold. I think the worst of it was on Friday but it is still with her. On top of the cold, yesterday was her first day with home daycare at Sherri's house. And, her first day waking up early in a while. I know you are supposed to practice getting up early, but that wasn't happening with her being sick.

Anyway... Sophia ended up taking a morning instead of afternoon nap so by the time evening came, she was crashing hard core. We drove to get Chick-fil-A for dinner and between leaving for Chick-fil-A, eating dinner, and going to bed (maybe 90 minutes) here are some things she cried about (just picture crying after EVERY SINGLE one of these statements. Or during tgem):

• these aren't my sunglasses
• where is my pigbear
• I want to wear Oma's flip-flops
• I want my baby
• help me put shoes on
• I want dinner
• I don't want dinner
• I want sauce (for french fries)
• I don't want to go to bed
• I want I want I want (repeat for 2 minutes in a whiny voice without saying what exactly is wanted)
• I want my baby (second time)
• I want night light on
• read Olivia
• seatbelt too tight
• slippers are uncomfortable
• I don't want pajamas
• I'm all done

And often she was crying whether I said yes or no or nothing at all. Like I said, downhill fast.

As you can imagine by the time we get to bed time she is exhausted. I put her to bed and hope that she gets some good rest.

Chris comes home at 9:00 pm from his class and we sit down to do some Bible Study together. We have been thinking about making our own statement of faith and so we have been going through some together and we were on a section about "man". About 15 minutes into our discussion, I hear some very loud crying. Oh geez. Chris heads upstairs to check on Sophia. After he left her room the crying started all over again. Then it's my turn to check on her.

I have to admit I initially headed up the stairs frustrated that she wasn't sleeping and that Chris and I wouldn't be able to work on our Bible study. When I got to her room my heart just broke. She had been crying so much this evening just from being tired that combined with her sore throat she was just in pain. Any time she coughed it made her cry more because of how uncomfortable it was. Poor baby. I gave her a teaspoon of honey and fed her some jello in bed to help soothe her throat. It seemed to help until she started coughing again. Then I squeezed out some lemon juice and combined it with honey and spoonfed some of that to her.

As I was feeding her she looked up at me and said "I love you, mommy. I miss you today". *heart melts*

I will be praying for her quick healing. Poor Sophia. Some of the fun that comes with parenting is the unpredictability.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sick baby

Sophia has had a cold. It started on Thursday and really hit hard on Friday (naturally, my first day back at work). It all sounds like it's in her chest, and she'll have really big, deep, scary-sounding coughing spells.

I am the absolute worst worst worst worst worst parent when it comes to sick kids, especially if I think she's going to throw up.

Most parents when their kids are coughing (including Chris): "poor baby, cough it up, you'll be okay" or something along those lines.

Me: "Eww eww eww eww eww" *scoots chair away*

Most parents with sick kids who want to cuddle: "come sit with me and snuggle"

Me: "I think Daddy wants to cuddle..."

It's not that I am calloused or mean, I just have a severely irrational fear of vomit.  I hate it so much that I can recall the last times I was sick because it was so traumatic to me:
March 18, 2013 - food poisoning after making bangers and mash for St. Patty's Day. I already didn't like sausage, now I'll never touch it again.
August 7, 2008 - sick from eating fried food, the day we left on our cruise.
July 16, 2005 - food poisoning from food at a wedding. Harry Potter had just come out with a new book in the series so I was up reading all night.

I fought morning sickness like a mad woman when I was pregnant with Sophia.

Anyway, the poor thing woke up with a miserable coughing spell and just sounded so so sick. And it's awful that you can't give any kind of cough medicine until they are 5 or 6. I even called the nurse line to ask about infant Robitussin and they still recommend against it! So I sat cuddling the poor girl in the bathroom with hot hot water running so we could get some steam going. Faced my fears! And of course she's got the humidifier going and baby Vicks on. Everything within my power to help! That and praying, which does more than I could ever do.

Now it is Sunday morning. She is getting better but still has a cough and hoarse voice. We stayed home from church today so she wouldn't expose other kids in nursery.  I was upstairs folding laundry while she was watching Mickey Mouse. She has been watching much more TV than usual while she is sick because it keeps her resting rather than running around like a crazy person, which is what she normally does. Anyway, I come back downstairs to find every nectarine in the fruit bowl half eaten. Every one. Well, at least she is eating fruit.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Dear Lord...

Tomorrow is the day.

THE day.

The one that has sounded so far away for so long.

Tomorrow I start work, after 11 weeks off with my beautiful girls.

Don't get me wrong, I have an awesome job with great coworkers and consider myself so blessed to have the job that I have. But it doesn't compare to my babies.
I am blessed to work part-time. 30 hours a week, 3 10-hour days, as a doctor of Audiology. How many people actually have great jobs in the field they went to school for? No night shifts, no weekend shifts, and my work stays at work. I am incredibly blessed. I love my patients. I love the variety in my job.

But oh, how I will miss my girls. No more daily waking up to soft toddler tip-toes and hearing "I want to watch Mickey Mouse and snuggle". No more baby snuggles all day long. Rather, I am hooked up to a machine to milk myself like a cow.

As I lay here tonight, I secretly wonder to myself if I can manage to stay awake, does that keep tomorrow away?

My simple prayer tonight, with some tears rolling down my cheeks, is God, please help me to find joy in my work and bless those who watch my girls.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Looking for a new purse?

If you are in the market for a new purse may I recommend Seat Belt Purses by Deanna? I recently ordered one and am madly in love with it. I would love to give them more business so I thought I'd write about it (not that my blog gets enough traffic to help much)...

My mom has a purse by her, which is where I fell in love with it. I needed to replace my old diaper bag after it got a hole (with just over a month of use!) These are great. Seat belt material is basically indestructible and the bag is machine washable! And customizable - who doesn't love that? You can pick your seat belt color and any fabric (cotton recommended) that you want. I picked out some fabric from Hobby Lobby and sent it to her, and because I sent my own fabric she gave me a discount. They come in sizes extra small to diaper bag and anywhere in between.

If you want more information, click the links below for:

Her Facebook page

Her etsy page

Or visit  http://seatbeltpursesbydeanna.blogspot.com


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

God has a sense of humor

I don't know how many times I heard that phrase growing up. Usually from my dad, when referring to my sisters and me ("three girls, God does have a sense of humor!")

Yesterday morning this was particularly true.

I had planned to go to Costco with a friend Monday morning because she does not have a membership and wanted to see what it was like. It just so happened that I used the last of the milk in Sophia's cereal that morning and needed to grocery shop anyway.  My friend ended up canceling for last minute family coming into town, so I gathered my giggle of girls (don't you think that this is a great phrase for multiple girls? A 'giggle'? I should trademark that...) and went to Costco.

If you are a member, you know that they ask to see your membership card when you first go inside. As I am walking in I start fishing through the diaper bag and realize that I don't have my wallet with me. Ugh. I am already dreading having to go home and leave again when I put my hand in my jacket pocket and what did I find? Yes. My membership card. I had gone to Costco late last week and put the card in my pocket after getting gas, and subsequently forgot about it. Wow. The odds of wearing that same jacket...

The story continues.

Costco has a policy where if you buy something that goes on sale within 30 days of your purchase they will refund the money. I had purchased some mugs last month that were $20, but went on sale for $16.

I trotted up to the membership desk to ask for the difference back from the mug purchase. I don't have the card with me that I made the purchase with (since I don't have my wallet) so he gives me $4 cash.

With that cash, I am able to buy a gallon of milk (and still have $1.57 left over - Woot).

Clearly, God does have a sense of humor, and He cares for us even in the most insignificant of situations.

More babies

Sophia woke up this morning around 8:00 and came into my room. I was feeding Heidi her second breakfast (first one was at 5:00 am) when Sophia crawled into bed with me.  She looked at Heidi, touched her head and said to me "I want to buy three more Heidis from the doctor." It was adorable.

I texted this interaction to Chris, who (jokingly) has wondered if I could be injected with some post-partum depression, and his response was "You pay her to say that?"

I just have a sweet girl who loves being a big sister.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Poor Uncle Dan

Uncle Dan recently moved out and has his own apartment in Minneapolis. I think perhaps Sophia has picked up on how much Uncle Dan is teased when he comes home (especially by her daddy...that's just what brothers do). Over the last week or so when Dan comes to visit he will ask Sophia for a high five. Sophia will put her hand up in the air, then look at Dan and say "my arm is too tired" before putting her hand back down and denying the high five. Little stinker.  Poor Uncle Dan...

3:00 am

It is a rule that if one kid does/wants something, they both do. One kid cries, the other kid cries. One kid wants a toy, the other kid wants the SAME toy.

Two nights ago Heidi woke up at 3:00 am, which is unusual for Heidi. Normally she sleeps from 9 to 5 or 6.  I was laying in bed feeding Heidi when I hear the clumsy sound of Sophia stumbling around and opening her door, probably around 3:15. She comes thumping down the hallway, poor thing half awake, and opens our bedroom door. She manages to do so very sneakily without waking Chris.

Sophia doesn't know I'm awake, and I can't really do much while I'm holding a baby, so I just watch her. She moves about two inches away from Chris' nose and just stares. About two minutes later Chris rolls over in bed and is facing me. I gently wake him and tell him he has someone waiting to see him. Here is the following conversation:

Daddy: hi Sophia
Sophia: hi daddy
Daddy: do you want to snuggle?
Sophia: yes *hops into bed, then wraps her arms around daddy's head and gives him a kiss on the cheek* I miss you too much, daddy

3:00 am isn't so unpleasant with these two sweet girls.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Encouragement

There are many times being a parent is tough. It can be overwhelming to look at my daughters and know that I am responsible for their well-being. God has chosen me to parent them, provide for them, love them, guide them. Nothing brings me to my knees faster than when I am reminded of these thoughts.

A big part, a difficult and important part, of caring for my children is doing what I know to be best, even when they don't want it.

A great example of this is nap time.  Sophia does not like nap time. (Actually, neither does Heidi but it is a different story comparing a toddler to an infant). Experience has taught me the advantages ans disadvantages of Sophia having a nap time. She does not like to lay down and at times it feels an awful lot like a battleground. But if I give up the fight and she does not nap, it is worse for everybody involved. Dinner time and bed time become much more difficult. So, knowing what I have learned from experience, I institute a daily nap time. I try to keep a general structure to our days, and usually after lunch we will watch a TV episode or part of a movie to help wind down before nap time. Sophia is aware of the routine and usually asks for "one more" episode. Or after we have read a book or two upstairs she will ask for just one more. Or "sing one more song,  mommy" (hard to resist)! There is often crying involved, usually when I turn off the TV and say it is time to go upstairs to her room.

Today, we watched the second half of the Lion King after lunch and right before end credits appeared on the screen she gathered her bears and went right upstairs. No argument, no whining. She just went, and then she went right down without difficulty.

What an encouraging thing. I'm sure it won't be the norm, but there was some peace with it today!

She also wore "big girl underwear" from morning until nap time today and manages to stay dry (encouragement number 2).

Then, tonight Sophia was running around the hallway upstairs and was coming dangerously close to the stairs on multiple occasions. Yikes. I asked her to stop, and told her that there would be consequences if she did not listen. Sure enough, she continued running. When it came time for her to receive consequences for her actions, she gracefully accepted it and then turned to me and said "I'm sorry, mommy". That was the most encouraging moment today. For all of the times there have been those little battles, events today were just a small reminder that consistency (or attempted consistency) does pay off. I'm lightyears away from being perfect, but with prayer and God's guidance I hope to train my girls correctly and to reflect God's love in my parenting.  Above all else I pray they learn to love, respect, fear, and obey God.

Proverbs 3:11-12 "My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves as a father the son in whom he delights"

Completed Stocking!

Heidi's stocking is complete. Some pics below go from start to finish. Can't wait to put it up this year!

Mom's Night Out

On Sunday evening I was going to church for an evening service/communion to be followed by a reception for some church
members that are moving. It was my job to bring the large cake (Costco cake...very delicious - or so I am told because I don't like cake - and very large). I totally had a Mom's Night Out scenario only slightly less exaggerated and without the mascara on my face.

If you have not seen the movie Mom's Night Out, I highly recommend it.

In the early part of the movie, the main character mom is heading to church on Mother's day and it is a particularly stressful time for her. She is feeling overwhelmed and begs her friend in thr nursery to please please not page her because she desperately needs an hour to herself.

Well, Sophia had not taken a great afternoon nap on Sunday. Generally she naps for 2 to 3 hours, she only napped for 10-15 minutes.  I knew that was a bad sign. Service started at 5:00. I lost track of time and by the time I had the baby fed and Sophia ready and the cake in the car we didn't get to church until 5:40.  For a one hour service. And Sophia is starting to pull out her grumpy I-didn't-get-enough-nap version of her usually very sweet self. Heidi, I should mention, does not like being in her car seat and will often cry on car rides. She thankfully slept this time. We get to church and I take my first load inside, my children, and Sophia has a full-on flat-out limp-noodle temper tantrum. She manages to wait for her total meltdown until we are directly outside of the sanctuary, which has the doors open, and inside of which our church intern is giving his last sermon at our church (his family is moving). Great. She is SCREAMING and CRYING and saying "I DON'T WANT TO SEE FRIENDS!"

Let me explain. Lately, Sophia has been a mommy's girl. Church requires separation from mommy which is sometimes difficult. When we talk about church, Chris and I usually talk about how we are going to see friends, to emphasize the fun aspect for her and not the separation. This is why she was yelling about friends. We had been to church that morning and she didn't want to be separated again, especially not in grouch mode.

Everybody was well aware of me walking into church.

One of the deaconnesses came to help me and grabbed my bag and the cake from the car. At this point, I was still strongly considering turning around and leaving, then a friend of mine came up and put her arm around me and comforted me. And jokingly said "if it weren't for God in my life I'd be in prison for how crazy my kids can make me". 

I managed to get Sophia calmed down, and about 2 minutes later Heidi started screaming in her carseat. But the ladies at church were exactly what was needed to soothe my soul. God puts amazing people in my life. Being at church with my church family to lift me up was absolutely the best cure for feeling worn thin. I felt (and looked) frazzled when I got to church, and was considering leaving, but I ended up staying and chatting until about 8:30. It was just what this mom needed. I thank God for those ladies in my life and how he provided them with words to say to encourage my heart and not feel like I am too weak to be a mom.