Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
What do you get when you put together a Family Studies major with a Criminal Justice major-turned social service worker? Two people with LOTS of ideas, thoughts and concerns about human behavior and discipline.
My husband and I talk about parenting....a LOT. Before we were married we began talking about how we saw our family. What we liked growing up, what we felt could have been different, how we'd like to raise our kids, our thoughts on homeschooling, whether or not spanking is effective, etc....We have a variety of books on our bookshelf about parenting, discipline, and even homeschooling. We take each book not as a reference guide, but merely as a discussion starter---and the homeschooling book? We just want to be educated should we ever decide that one or more of our children would benefit more from being educated at home.
With both of us having backgrounds in the foster care world we've seen "discipline" go horribly wrong. We watch what others around us do and talk about what methods we feel are or are not effective....but mostly, we just talk about what we'd like to try.
Lucy is nearing the age where she can recognize a few things that are not acceptable behaviors---but we get that she still needs a lot of reminding that we don't play with DVD's. :)
Now my husband and I have both been guilty of being the parents that literally say "NO" all day long...and often at increasing volumes. But last week (after one of those days) I felt really convicted about my attitude. Sure, I'm exhausted, sore and growing a baby--but Lucy doesn't get that. She's just exploring her world and I was trying to stop that explorative spirit. The next day at MOPS--our speaker further tugged at my heart about nurturing my daughter's creativity and changing my focus from worrying about the "minor" things.
That night (and into this weekend) my husband and I talked at great lengths about how can we teach our daughter to obey us as parents while also not creating an environment so controlled that we kill her curious spirit? We don't have many answers yet---but we're on the same page and enjoying the discussion. We know there are certain things that she must learn she can't touch---and the other things? Well, it's merely an annoyance for us to have to put all the towels back in the drawer for example--but for her, it's a good 15 minutes of fun finding the towels, unfolding them, lining them up on the floor and then sitting on each one. It takes us two minutes to clean up---and soon she'll be at the age when she can start helping.
It's easy for me to forget sometimes that my daughter is only 14 months old...and developmentally she can't possibly remember or even predict what things are off limits...especially in new environments. My husband's job and my education have continually reminded us of that fact and the fact that discipline can (and often should) look differently for each of our children. We're learning, talking and adjusting our ideas and expectations---which honestly, I feel like is the best part of all of this. We know we're going to have days when we fail miserably---but we'd like to be able to get it "right" most of the time! :)I love that my daughter is curious. I love that she doesn't show much fear and will willingly go play with other children and hug family members she hasn't seen in a while. I love the excitement in her eyes when she figures something out or discovers where all of her shoes are "hidden". I don't want to kill this curiousity by saying "NO" to every minor thing and losing my cool daily.
....and for that, I'm going to need a LOT of grace :)
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Baby #2 is 14 (almost 15 weeks) baked. We had an appointment last Thursday and were able to hear the heartbeat. The doctor was having a hard time finding it--but located it quick enough for us to hear it briefly--but we weren't able to get a heartrate because it was so difficult to locate. No weight gain yet, but the belly is starting to shape up (or maybe I'm just trying to convince myself that I look more pregnant than fat? hmmm.... :)
We're getting excited--I think the shock of "oh my goodness we're going to have two babies under the age of two!" has worn off a bit and we've moved on to talking about baby names, nursery ideas, and planning for a smooth transition.
Physically speaking I feel exhausted...still. I'm incredibly sore already. I had a lot of back pain and cramping throughout my first pregnancy and the pains seemed to have started sooner this time around. Partly that's due to obviously caring for a toddler right now--and partly due to the travelling in a car this weekend and sleeping arrangements. The nausea for the most part has disappeared---though I did manage to throw up a lot Friday night while out of town in a hotel room....but my husband and I are calling that a fluke and both praying that we're past at least one discomfort.
I'm hoping for the second trimester energy boost to show up any day now and we're going to try a back support belt that my doctor recommended.
Otherwise we're preparing for a big (big as in several years in the making!) trip to Florida in a few weeks, trying to get caught up on work for my job at home, working to keep up with one curious lil' gal, and learning a lot about parenting and discipline (but that's another blog post!)
Friday, September 17, 2010
When I hear "I can only Imagine" by Mercy Me, I'm 18 driving in my "new" car on my way home from college for the weekend. It's blaring as loudly as possible on the then working stereo system in my car (because, in case you didn't know, it's incredibly cool to blast Christian music on your car radio.) I'm a freshman in college and a new believer in Christ.
"Praise you in this Storm" comes up and I'm a senior strolling through campus with my mp3 player. It's a Sunday afternoon and my Grandfather has just passed away, the last of my surviving grandparents. Tears undoubtedly collecting in my eyes as I struggle to figure life out in general.
"Here's to Hindsight" by Tara Leigh Cobble (google her music, fantastic) puts me in my small basement apartment my first year out of college. No heat, flooded when it rained and the stove sat in the middle of the room. I'm trusting wholly in God at this point, knowing He alone brought me through college & called me to graduate at that appointed time. I'm working as a para for a local school, struggling to pay bills, and enjoying my evenings at the local coffee shop reading.
"Love of God" by Mercy Me---and it's a year after I sat alone so many nights in a Manhattan coffee shop learning about my Jesus---now I'm walking through my soon-to-be fiance's apartment. He's learned this song knowing it's my favorite and the song I will someday walk down the aisle to. I walk through a tunnel of streamers and meet him at the end. He puts down his guitar, gets down on one knee and changes my life forever. I know then that the year alone in that tiny apartment shaped me for this moment.
"Everything" by Michael Buble and I've just shared my first kiss as a wife! We walk out with arguably the biggest grins on our faces of all time. We are united as one and ready to face the world.
"Cinderella" by Steven Curtis Chapman and I'm watching my husband wrestle on the floor with our fun-loving daughter. They've only known each other a year, but they will be buddies for life. She has Daddy wrapped around her finger and he is completely smitten by her. She'll wait by the door everyday and yell "da-da!" as soon as she sees that red car roll down our street. Their relationship makes me so thankful that he is my partner and the father of my children.
"He's always been Faithful" and it's any moment over the past 8 years. Eight years ago I made a choice on a college campus. I chose to follow Jesus...and believe me the path since then has been a rocky, but beautiful, journey. He has been faithful in friendships, in crossing my path with my husband's, in starting our family on His timing, and for providing for every need we have ever worried about. I will forever be singing this song.
I'm no music expert....but I know how to be taken back.
Nausea has mostly been replaced with headaches---though the vicious head cold that invaded Lucy and I this week has been the least fun. Lucy and I got some sun on Monday with a quick trip to the library and the grocery store---and again yesterday with a quick drive around town. I'm hoping we can both get out for a few hours this afternoon
Since most of my time has been spent on the couch or in bed when Lucy is sleeping, I managed to read a library book in about three days and get some work done on a new excel budget we are going to try out. We've been using a nifty excel sheet I designed for well over a year now and are ready to try out some more in-depth planning. We work with a pretty limited income and want to be diligent to account for every penny spent. Not to mention, it's kind of encouraging to see areas we've continued to lower our budget...I think it encourages us to keep cutting costs!
Speaking of which, we're working on lowering our grocery budget each month and were hoping to try and get by with $160/month for groceries. We're right at $100 spent right now, which is a little over where I'd like to be at this point in the month, but that's included two last minute runs to the gas station for milk---which is arguably more expensive & snacks for various events we've been to lately. Also, we did some stock up on some lean meat last week--which drove up our spending.
We're loving the food from our freezer. Between the homeade smoothies ready to go for an afternoon snack--all the way to the pan on enchiladas that just needed to be put in the oven last night for a great dinner....it's nice, especially this month. We've done well eating through a lot of our items and are working on a list for what we want to try/keep next month.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
When I was pregnant I started stockpiling. I bought diapers when I could get them at amazing prices, wipes when they were almost free (or free), baby wash and, you guessed it, clothes! I love the styles of the brand name stores. Their quality is superior and their clothes, in my opinion, are often cuter! Their prices however are outrageous! We started figuring the approximate size Lucy would be in and bought a season ahead. (Example: I've been filling a tote up this summer for clothes for her to wear next summer. ) I wait for the clothes to go on clearance---then I wait for an additional sale (usually a 30% off everything) and I buy what I think we'll need. The best part is I get the cute clothes---for a much better price---than the store brand styles. Plus, by buying ahead I know what I need and can look for ways to fill those gaps at garage sales and consignment sales.
(Pajamas for next summer. They were $10 for both on clearance---then I got 30% off that---and then an additional 20% off that---and honestly, $5 a piece wasn't bad to begin with!)
Here are some examples of our clothing stockpiles:
(this is a stash of a few of the shirts I bought last fall/winter for lucy. If you can see the price tag it says $5.99---and I got an additional 30% that price)
Now, it doesn't always work out. For example this fall I have several long-sleeve t-shirts ready to go, but our pants collection is pretty sparse. Sometimes clothes are still a little too big or a little snug when it's time to wear them, but when I'm paying a couple of dollars or less for an article of clothing---that's ok to me---and it rarely happens!
So, scour the racks (or online stores)--right now is a perfect time to stock up for next summer.
(Christmas Jammies from last years collection--$3.99 and 20% off)
(saw this on other blogs and now I'm going for it!)
How far along?
Size of Baby?
Total weight gain/loss?
zero so far!
Don't know--but I did draw the "boy" duck at MOPS yesterday...
Some Maternity t-shirts, maternity jeans, stretchy skirts/shorts
Not yet feeling it...
Ok...getting up a few times at night.
Still nauseous, exhausted, and started having horrible headaches this week :(
What I miss?
...Well, this week not getting to join in on a Martini Night get together :)
This week: BBQ chips and grilled hot dogs. all beef ones---does that make it better?
Best Moment this week?
Starting MOPS again, trips to the park with Lucy, cuddling on the couch with my older baby and watching Ice Age
What I'm looking forward to?
Our next appointment---to hear the heartbeat on the doppler!
Monday, September 6, 2010
Saturday, September 4, 2010
(Mr. B shredding potatoes to flash freeze for hashbrowns)