Friday, January 29, 2010

Week 4 weigh in

Weighed in this morning.  Lost one pound.  This is the least amount lost in one week to date, but still lines up with my overall goals so no worries.  Only 7.5 more pounds to go before I reach my goal.  I've lost a total of 9.5 lbs.  I wondered if this week wouldn't be as good. I made a dish with cream cheese.  Yummy!  It was well worth it.

Last night I made a barbecue tofu dish.  Sounds gross, but it was so yummy.  I finally figured out how to cook tofu correctly, so it had a more meaty texture and stayed together better.  I must say, I'm getting quite good at vegetarian cooking.  I just love it.  I can't believe I've been meatless for an entire month....well almost.  I did allow myself shrimp last week and salmon this week.  I feel OK eating fish. It is so good for you, and the movie Food Inc. didn't go into the fish market, so I'm going to plead innocence is bliss when it comes to seafood.

My new favorite dishes this week included a fresco salsa, cream cheese/black bean pinwheels, barbecue tofu sandwiches with caramelized onions, and a tomato/avocado/feta salad.  It's been a yummy week.  What's even better is that I have so many leftovers, I never have to cook separate things for myself during lunch (I cook meat for the kiddos).  I even have enough left over to freeze half of what I make, so I'm getting well stocked with quick vegetarian meals I can pull out of the freezer for days, if I don't feel like cooking.  Now all I have to do is convince my youngest to eat beans and then I'll have it made. 

Wish come true.

With a little help from God, my wish came true.  Both boys are staying at home today.  It is snowing like crazy right now, and we live at the bottom of a very steep hill.  Our street has yet to be plowed.  I am not charging the parents for today even though it was their choice not to bring the boys because I felt bad that it is due to our hill. This snow couldn't have come at a more perfect time.  Everyone needs to just stay at home and rest.  Sometimes answers to prayers come in such unexpected ways.  I find it hard to believe that God sent the snow just for me, but I've caught myself pondering it.

Anyhow, the girls came back from the doctor with meds.  Each was prescribed a different antibiotic.  Brennan was also given a breathing treatment since the nurse practitioner heard a little bit of wheezing in her chest.  She also turned out to have an ear infection.  This explains A LOT!  No wonder she was miserable.  Glad I took them in.  Brennan fell asleep in the van and maybe got 15 minutes of sleep.  Therefore, she refused to take a nap.  I was bracing myself for another cranky, clingy day.  It was actually quite the opposite.  For the first time (in I don't know how long) she was happy, content, and just delightful.

On the contrary, Brennan slept awful last night.  She didn't cough at all, so I'm guessing it was the ear, the lack of a nap, or teething that was preventing her from resting well. I  ended up sleeping with her on my chest on the couch after the third time having to get up with her.  Consequently, I'm exhausted.

Hoping today brings some normalcy, some healing, and some rest.  I'm looking forward to having a houseful of happy, healthy children come Monday morning.  I'm looking forward to being healthy myself.  A change is a coming. I can feel it:)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Just go home and get better

Yesterday was a trying time at daycare.  It's hard enough taking of one sick child let alone 5 sick children all while being sick yourself.  Thankfully, one of the parents had enough smarts to keep her son home today.  My house was a living germ yesterday.  I was covered in snot, coughed on, and sneezed on.  Kids were fighting more than normal.  Preschool time was a flop, as little Sean just glazed over when I tried to work with him on numbers 1-3.  Both boys have confirmed cases of croup.  Little Kie especially isn't doing well.  He's so tired, but having trouble sleeping.  He has NO appetite, and he just wants his mom.  I can't really blame him.  Given his condition, I'd want my mom too.

I'm pretty sure my girls have croup too, but I really don't feel they need to go to the doc.  The drugs that they can give them only treat the symptoms; it is a virus that really just has to run it's course.  Other than that, the course of treatment is humidifiers and lots of fluids.  Apparently, croup mostly acts up at night.  Some kids will wake coughing and can't stop and often times have trouble breathing.  My girls have had pretty restful nights of sleep with occasional coughs.  Therefore, I didn't feel it necessary to take them in yet, and they are pretty happy most of the day. When they wake and start coughing, it just sounds awful but they have never had trouble breathing and if they do, I will get them in ASAP. I feel like I want to cough for them; you can just hear the mucus in there trying to get out. It is nasty stuff.  They have never had croup before so this is new territory for me. 

Anyhow, for those who've been through it before with your own kids, you understand my pain.  I really just wish everyone would keep their kids home until they felt better.  However, for one of the parents, it just isn't an option.  She is a single mom of two and out of sick days.  So for now, we are praying for healing and hoping God comes through quickly.  I don't wish this on anyone.

UPDATE:  Scheduled an appt. with the doc at 11:00 today.  Jeff will have to take them in.  Another mom told me horror stories of croup.  This mommy doesn't want to be one of those horror stories.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A regular comedian

Last night, being the regular comedian he is, Jeff decided to follow Kadyn on her way to the bathroom and ask, "Going to the pool to drop off the kids?"  Kadyn says, "No."  Then she proceeded to do her business.  Five minutes later she comes out of the bathroom and exclaims, "Mom!  Dad said he wants to drop me off at the pool.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Believe it....or not

Ever since Kadyn got the pukes last Wednesday she's not quite been herself.  The day after that awful night she slept a good chunk and slowly started nibbling on food.  By the end of the night she even tried her hand a few times on the trampoline, so I thought it was behind us and called the daycare parents and told them to bring the kiddos the next day.  The next day she seemed like herself with the few exceptions of telling me her tummy hurt and then laying down for a few minutes only to pop up again and resume playing. I figured she liked the attention she got when she was sick and was just vying for a little more attention so was faking a tummy ache.  No puking was taking place, so it must be fake.  Right?

Yesterday, same thing.  She must have told me 4 or 5 times her tummy hurt, laid down and then up and at em.  I figured we needed to have a little discussion about telling the truth.  I told her the story of the The Boy who Cried Wolf.  I told her there were other ways to get attention, that one should never lie about being sick otherwise no one will believe her when she really does get sick.  She seemed to understand.

Flash forward to today, the girl will hardly eat anything and is dragging dragging dragging.  All she wants to do is lay down and do nothing or snuggle.  She has told me she feels fine, and then she doesn't feel fine.  Now she is napping on the couch.  She never takes naps.  No puking, no whining, no crying, no runny nose (that's Brennan's problem at the moment, buckets of snot).  I'm so confused.  This isn't normal, so perhaps she's just having trouble regaining her energy.  I'm not really sure what to believe because she seemed almost normal the last day of daycare.  She just seems so somber, quiet, and not with it today.  I hate to admit I've had trouble believing her when she's told me her tummy is hurting after her behavior the past couple days, but today, something isn't right.  Wish I knew what was wrong with my baby.  I miss happy Kadyn.  I think we need the sun to come out.  All this sickness is getting depressing. 

Friday, January 22, 2010

A full week...almost

Well I have completed almost a full week of daycare now minus one day off for a puking daughter.  I feel really good about daycare.  I feel relieved that the girls don't seem short changed by my divided attention.  In fact, they are really enjoying the new company.  Kadyn especially has enjoyed having another playmate. She has, however, tried her hand a few times at being a tattle tail.  We had to have a discussion about that.  Brennan lights up when she sees Kie, but when she's had her fill, she's back to following me around and whining until I pick her up or play with her, so not much has changed there really.  Today she had her feelings hurt when Kie grabbed a fist full of hair and pulled very hard.  Thus, I started teaching the babies the sign language for "I'm sorry."  She must have forgotten the episode very quickly because she smooched him twice and laid her head on his shoulder later that afternoon.  The girl is a lover, what can I say.

I can say that this time running the daycare has fulfilled me in a whole new way.  I really didn't get to do much preschool learnings activities last time because of the age of the kids.  However, this time I am going full force with it.  My brain has come alive with new and exciting ways to teach counting, addition, subtraction, ABC's, colors, writing, you name it. When I see a challenge I am intrigued and excited to find a new and constructive way to teach that concept better.  Sean as I mentioned before is really a blank slate at the moment.  He is a very physical boy.  He doesn't have the focus and attention span that Kadyn does or did at that age, so I have been trying to think up ways to make his learning more active.  I'm excited to see if my ideas work.  I guess all this is to say, I'm getting to fulfill my teaching itch through this, and it has been rewarding.  And to top it all off, I am able to incorporate my faith into it all without the slightest bit of doubt that I am overstepping my boundaries; this was a issue I did have to deal with while teaching in the public schools.  There is nothing more rewarding to me than share knowledge with a child.  To see a child go from knowing nothing about some things to learning about them and then seeing their world in a whole new exciting way.  I swear I can literally see the little light bulbs above there heads light up when they "get" something.  It's a look that's written all over their face that just shouts, "Oh my gosh, I really get it.  I did that.  I get it.  It makes sense."   That imparting of knowledge makes me feel purposed and accomplished. 

I've very excited about teaching Kie preschool when he gets to that age.  That kid has a huge attention span for a one year old.  He loves learning.  I do flashcards with him that have come with the reading video that his mother has requested I use with him daily.  He LOVES them.  He cries when I put them away.  His face lights up when he hears the music of the reading video play. He plays with such determination to figure things out.  He's playful and completely content as long as all his needs are met.  Such an easy, delightful child.  Today I knew we were forming a bond when he crawled over to me while his mother and I were talking and tried to get me to pick him up. 

Aside from some napping issues I had earlier the only other real challenge for me has been some minor discipline issues with Sean.  We are working through it and he has been really sweet when we find resolution, throwing his arms around me and giving me a big tight hug.  If I'm not careful, I may grow a small attachment to these boys.  They are pretty cute.

So all in all, I end this week hopeful and optimistic that this time it will be different.  This time I may grow to love doing this.  I know there are going to be days that are not too peachy, but as long as my girls are happy and fulfilled, I can do this. 

Week 3

Week three weigh in, to my surprise, down 2.5 lbs for a total to date of 8.5 lbs.  I really didn't feel like I lost weight, but the scale says otherwise.  I caved on the sweet tooth and allowed myself one chocolate covered cherry each night.  Then there is the night we went out to eat at chiles.  I tried to eat sensibly and ordered the shrimp tacos, but there was also an appetizer and dessert.  I couldn't help myself.  I was going to only eat half my meal, but the thought of reheated shrimp didn't sound very appetizing. Maybe I just lucked out because I was at the end of a certain girl time (if you catch my drift).  Anyhoo...I was pleasantly surprised.  I did decide, however, to ditch the measurements.  Each week they have been up and down.  I don't understand how it could go up when I am consistently loosing weight. I concluded I must not always be measuring myself in exactly the same places.  It's too hard to be accurate on that.

Eating meatless continues to be fun, yummy, and easy.  So far my favorite meatless meals have been white bean chili, vegetarian spinach verde enchiladas, TVP quiche, and stuffed feta peppers.  Other meals I have made that aren't wonderful but have potential with a little tweeking include sweet and sour crockpot tofu, tofu lasagna, tofu parmigiana, and black bean burgers.  I find it weird that I don't crave meat, although I think I may want a big burger this summer.  Mostly, I just miss sweets.

So in a nutshell, the last three weeks have really been pretty easy and I am pleased with my progress. It's been so easy, in fact, I keep thinking my luck will run out and I will hit a wall that I can't seem to break.  It doesn't seem normal to be on a diet that is actually easy to do.  Yea!  Hope it stays that way.  If only all we ever owned was salad plates, I may have never had all this weight to loose in the first place.  I don't overeat and since my plate looks full, I feel like I'm eating a lot.  It seems so simple, I'm not sure why I never thought of it before.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

First day success

Well, I completed my first full day of daycare yesterday and I feel very good about it.  The boys are wonderful!  Kadyn ADORES her new buddy Sean who will turn three in a few weeks.  Brennan thinks that it's pretty wonderful that Kie crawls too, although he does walk occasionally on his own so it may not last long.  It was very rewarding to me to see those reactions.  Brennan did get jealous one time, as I suspected but that was mostly because her teeth were starting to bother her and I couldn't pick her up because I was in the middle of a diaper change.

There will be a couple of things that are very challenging.  The first is that both babies need to be rocked and cuddled for about 10 minutes before their naps.  I can't have other kids in the room with me or they get too distracted and won't go down. Yesterday I asked Kadyn to kind of keep an eye on little Kie while I got Brennan down.  Luckily Brennan was down when it was Kie's turn to go down so I didn't have to worry about her.  Kadyn was willing to help me out and she did a fairly decent job of checking on him and playing with him.  However, she's 3 years old.  I'm not sure that's the best fool proof plan. I shall put on the reading video during that time.  Kie's mother has bought that "Your Baby Can Read" program and has asked me to show her son that video every day.  He loves it and completely zones out to it.  I think that would be the smartest thing at this point.  I'm really excited about the reading program and want to get both girls involved too so we will have to watch it more than once so Brennan gets a chance to see it too.  The recommended viewing time for the video is twice a day anyways.

The older boy is a little bit challenging in the potty training department. He doesn't always want to try for me and isn't shy about just saying flat out, "No."  But I was able to talk him down most of the time and managed to get him to go two times.  Also, Kadyn is quite a bit ahead of him in her schooling and rightly so since he is almost a full year younger.  After assessing him yesterday it appears I may have to start from scratch (colors, counting 1-10 etc.), so I will need to prepare two different lesson plans for preschool time.  Oh well.  It may be a challenge but I'm up for it and love teaching so this doesn't bother me too much. 

Overall, it was a very positive experience for everyone yesterday.  It was fun seeing Sean and Kadyn running all over the place holding hands, hugging, snuggling together, playing hide and seek, playing doctor, playing princess and prince, fighting the mean dragon (aka the vacuum), being the 'good guys', being the 'bad guys', doing crafts together, reading stories together, learning about God's creation together, having high jumping contests on the trampoline, and cooking some mean meals in the play kitchen.  They were two peas in a pod from the very get go.  It tickled me to death that Brennan crawled right over my lap to get to Kie when we were reading stories so she could rest her head on his shoulder to show him affection and followed him everywhere just to see what he was doing.  By the end of the day it became clear to me that although I didn't get the little girls I wished to watch, it really didn't matter.  In the end, what mattered is that the kids I got were good and that my girls enjoyed being with them.  Once again, God knows what he's doing much better than I do.  Thanks God.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Week two weigh in

Second week I weighed in.  Lot another 1.5 pounds, -.5 inch thighs, -.5 waste, -.0 hips.  I'd call that another success.  Certainly isn't a 4.5 lb loss like last week, but I'll take it.  It still meets my goals for the week.  This brings my total loss to 6 lbs, 2 inches thighs, 2 inches waste, and 1.5 inches hips.  Sure wish I could see the difference in my thighs, that's what I'm most excited about losing, but it still only seems subtle right now.  The biggest difference to me seems to be my waste.  It's beginning to feel like I'm getting the waste line I was so familiar with before kids.  That has been encouraging.

One of the hardest things so far have been the lack of sweets.  I miss them. We have a box of chocolate covered cherries that were given to us over Christmas.  I've been allowing Kadyn one piece each day.  I keep thinking one piece a day won't hurt my diet too much, but then this little voice reminds me that once I get that taste in my mouth, I'll find another excuse to have another and another and another.  I don't want to deprive myself forever, after all sweets are one of God's greatest gifts to me.  But I told myself I would wait until I got half way to my goal and then only allow one tiny piece of chocolate a day.  I have been satisfying my sweet tooth with a couple cups of coffee and artificial sweetener for now.  Our coffee bill has gone up, to say the least, and I have gotten a bit more productive with the extra boost of caffeine.  I've never been a caffeine person before.

The only other hard part so far has been not being able to step on the scale daily.  When you gaze in the mirror at your naked body it's hard to see if anything is happening as each day only brings very subtle changes.  You want to step on the scale to make sure it's working.  However, in my experience daily weigh ins can show fluctuations.  One day you will be up, then the next day down.  It can be discouraging that the diet isn't working and make one want to give up.  Therefore, allowing only one weigh in a week, I think, reflects the true progress of my efforts.

The thing that I have been the most pleased with is that there has been absolutely no counting of calories and no logging of food.  I eat only what I can fit on a salad plate and no more.  I try to make at least half of that plate veggies and the rest equally divided with protein and carbs.  This, of course, is harder to do with dishes where all the ingredients are mixed together,but it is working, so I don't care really.  I allow myself on healthy snack a day.  That's all I really need.  I figure if I don't feel hungry the rest of the time, there's no need to force myself to eat a snack I don't need. 

In other news I will be meeting with another prospective daycare client.  She is a mother of two girls 2 and 5 years old.  I was only needed to fill one more spot as I filled my first spot with a one year old boy last week, but the idea of having a 5 year old playmate for Kadyn seemed easy and exciting.  If Kadyn had someone to pal around with all day that would make this easier.  Also, a five year old would be very easy to care for and she could join Kadyn in her perschool lessons.  Of course, she would only be here until school started in August, so it would only be short term, and we could use the extra money.  She no longer naps, so I wouldn't have to worry about having a room for her to sleep in.  I felt awful for her mother who almost broke down on the phone explaining that she might be getting a divorce and currently stays at home with the girls. I also have friend who I have recently discovered is finding herself in the same situation.  We had a lengthy emotional conversation about it last Tuesday during a playdate. Suddenly, I quit feeling disappointed that I was going to have to start daycare again and more like the luckiest person in the world.  I am still getting to live out the dream of staying at home with my children and I am in a wonderful marriage to a wonderful man who is so supportive of my desire to be at home with the children.  My kids get to have a playdate every day at their house, and I get to do my passion of teaching everyday during preschool time.

Yes, daycare isn't looking so bad after all.  The prospect of having girls to join the daycare just makes me so happy!  I know girls.  I can do girls.  And after learning of this mother's dilemna I actually feel purpose in doing this.  I desire to make her transition easier and less stressful.  I want to help her out. 

Anyways, nothing is set in stone.  It may not even happen.  But if it does, I will know it is God's doing; we have been praying for another girl for Kadyn's age.  As I've been saying all along, I have opened up the doors for it to happen, it is God's job to fill the openings with the right people.

Well that's a wrap.  Until next time.  Adios!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Next American Idol Diva

Click on the image to view.
From downloaded 1-14-10

She understands the concept anyways

Here is a video of Brennan trying to use our new trampoline.  I think you can tell she understands the concept even if she can't exactly execute it correctly.  I love this! Just click on the image.

From downloaded 1-14-10

Time for more pics

Time for more pics.  First up we have Brennan who is very obsessed with Dada's new Christmas mug.  She thinks it's super cool that her picture is on it and often spends all her time trying to steal it if we are using it.

Then we have little Miss Kadyn who is just a camera hog.

Next up, my first attempt at black bean burgers.  I was AMAZED how they looked like real hamburgers.  However they certainly didn't taste like them.  It's kind of a surprise to bite into them and expect one thing and taste something totally different.  Once you get your mind wrapped around the fact that they aren't going to taste how they look, they aren't bad.  I want to try several other different recipes though.  I would like my burger to be a little more chunky in texture. These were too smooshy.

 Here we have the girls doing their daily Mommy squishing.  I love it but man are they too good at it.

Kadyn has discovered a new favorite treat. Sorry I can't figure out how to flip it.

Brennan and I are trying to relish our last few days together to snooze on the couch from 7:00-8:00 every morning.

Girls still LOVE their baths.

One of the rare moments where both girls sat still for half an hour and cuddled on my lap together.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Enjoyment of two totally different children

I'm not sure why, but for some reason, Kadyn has been really good the past couple of weeks.  I have just enjoyed her company so much for the past couple weeks.  I suppose this comes at a good time considering Brennan has been a little demanding lately, and I am about to start daycare again.  Perhaps she is just growing up and maturing.  Perhaps my efforts to work on my tone of voice when she misbehaves is really paying off.  I really don't know, but I feel so incredibly lucky to have her in my life.  Not that I never felt this way before. Not that I don't feel this way about Brennan, it's just one of those things that when your kid is good, you really realize just how special and wonderfully made they are.  You get to see their true spirit and who they are as a person.  You realize that perhaps you haven't done such a bad job after all, and it is so reassuring that you might just be able to raise a respectable child. 

Two nights ago she picked up her room without being asked.  Anytime I'm in a pickle to get supper on the table and Brennan is at my feet pulling at my pant legs and whining, Kadyn comes to my rescue trying to distract Brennan singing her songs and talking so sweetly to her (it usually works).  She often blurts out "Mama I love you."  She still surprises me with some of the funny and clever things she says.  Her sense of humor tickles me pink.  She loves to snuggle with me and is starting to prefer that I put her down at night again.  She loves to sing, dance, and dress up in all kinds of girly princess clothes.  She often times will mimic me in the way I move, things I do, and things I say.  She wants to be just like me.  At one time I felt like every request was a struggle, but now she is starting to listen without complaint.  She is full of hugs and kisses and loves being a big sister.  I count my blessings every day that she adores her little sissy.  In fact, when she is asked to do a quiet time so Mommy can have Mommy time, she requests the company of little sis.  She is so smart and bright.  She craves learning and will take on anything I throw at her.

I realize that this won't last forever.  I've been a Mom long enough to know that kids go through all kinds of phases, but right now I couldn't be more proud of my oldest.  I am getting glimpses of the wonderful adult she will be some day, and I am excited beyond words at the person I think she will become. 

Brennan is so different from Kadyn.  It was hard to see the differences at first since Brennan behaved very similarly to Kadyn as an infant.  However, her personality is really starting to take shape as she starts her toddler years.  She is certainly more demanding then Kadyn ever was.  If she is hungry, she wants food now or she will die (or at least that is what she'd like you to think).  If she is thirsty, same thing.  She has NO patience.  I'm not sure how much of this is age related or just Brennan.  She has been harder to teach things too.  She has the capacity and smarts to learn the things I try to teach her but is often too stubborn, uninterested, or distracted, so some things have come at a little slower pace then they did with Kadyn.  She is very, very loving.  I just EAT THIS UP!  She is constantly giving me hugs and kisses.  However, this has produced a jealous streak in her that is going to prove very different when the other kids start at daycare.  It has caused her to be possessive of me and my affections towards others.  As endearing as it feels to be this loved, it can also be a bit stifling because she doesn't let me have much time to myself or to get things done.  She has no tolerance for pain, especially teething pain.  She HATES having her diaper changed protesting from the moment I lay her on the changing table.

I think Brennan has a little more attachment to her Daddy then Kadyn did at this age.  She gets very upset if he doesn't pick her up the minute he walks in the door.  She crawls over to him, sits up on her knees, holds up her arms and bobs up and down while whining.  She loves just hanging out on his lap while he works on the computer and loves to dance to any music he plays for her.  Of course, his name is the only real word she can say.

Despite Brennan's more challenging personality, I adore her.  I wonder how she will be when she is Kadyn's age.  I predict she will be much more difficult to raise as a teenager.  She will be my stubborn willed, obstinate child.  She quite possibly will challenge me on a whole new level when she hits the age of 3 (the beginning of 3 was the hardest for me as a parent so far).  But all those thoughts and predictions of what may be don't phase me one bit.  She is perfectly made in her own way by my creator, and I see such a beauty in her spirit too that it becomes easy to overlook the challenges.  Who couldn't resist those chubby little arms wrapping themselves around you while burying her head into your face and a big, slobbery, toothy mouth coming at your cheek to give you a big kiss as if to say, "Mommy I love you so much, I can't live without you!"  

Yes, I truly truly love my kids and am in awe of the creations that they are.  I love them for who they were, who they are, and who they will be.  I suppose it's fitting that I got these mushy feelings just before I started daycare.  I really got to enjoy them by myself in their prime for this last week.  Thanks God.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hmmmm maybe I won't do that.

Brennan has a routine and it has worked well for us for some time now.  I always rock her to sleep for naps and then just put her in the crib to fall asleep on her own for night time.  I had trained Kadyn to fall asleep on her own for both naps and nighttime.  This was partly because I had three other boys to put down and I really couldn't take too much time trying to put Kadyn down.  I also was thinking in the back of my mind that Brennan could be our last (although I really don't want her to be).  I wanted to enjoy rocking her as much as possible because I realized that she would outgrow being rocked and taking naps eventually, so theoretically she would wean herself from being rocked to sleep for naps when she no longer needed naps.  This plan is sort of backfiring on me now.

Today I thought it might be a good time to try to wean her off of being rocked to sleep for naps.  How hard could it be?  After all, she didn't require me to rock her to sleep for nighttime, perhaps it wouldn't be that difficult at all.  We did our normal 1 minute story, a little cuddling while I sang Jesus Loves You and then I laid her down in the crib.  She protested a little as I laid her in the crib wide awake and then spent about 10 minutes goofing around in her crib.  A little later she began to whine and I would occasionally go in there and lay her down, cover her back up, and tell her to go back to sleep and then walk out the door.  The whining grew into real crying so I drug a chair in there and sat it in front of her crib with my back to her.  I thought perhaps my presence would calm her and she would eventually fall asleep.  Whenever she got up, I would gently place her back down and cover her up.  That didn't work too well, so I started to sing to her.  She usually calms down when I sing to her.  She did calm down for about 10 mintues, but was still wide awake so started crying again.  I kept trying to sing and kept my back to her, but it just kept getting louder and more out of control.  I wondered if perhaps she had a wet diaper, so I changed her diaper and gave her a little tylenol because I knew she was cutting her top molar (elminated teething as the cause).  Eventually I turned the chair around and tried to talk gently to her and pat her to calm her.  That didn't work.  An hour later, my daughter is so tired and so upset she couldn't figure out how to calm herself down.  She started to loose her breath a lot (you know when they sniffle and then cry and sniffle).  So.....I caved. 

Of course by the time I caved she wasn't in the mood to be rocked.  She wasn't in the mood for anything except fighting sleep with all her might. I had to wrap her in the blanket, hold her down, sing and just stay the course with insisting she fall asleep.  Her eyes got so heavy she had no choice but to cave, mixed with a few more bouts of screaming in between a few seconds of shut eye.  After aobut 5 more minutes of waiting for her breathing to return to more of a normal state, I put her in the crib and walked out the door without as much as a whimper. 

Why should I have to give up rocking my precious little baby to sleep?  It is one of the reasons I want to stay at home with my child.  To cherish those times that are so fleeting.  So...I figure my course of action once the daycare kids start coming is to put them down first and save Brennan for last so I can take my time, snuggle to my hearts delight, and walk out the door to a peaceful tiny bundle of joy (ok not so tiny anymore, but my littlest one none the less).  I sure hope I get to do this one more time, but if I don't I'm going to have no regrets.  Drip, drip. 

Friday, January 8, 2010

Woot woot!

Had my weigh in and measurement check in today; it's been one week since I have started. I lost 4.5 lbs of weight.  I also lost 1.5 inches off my thighs, 1.5 inches off my hips, and 1.5 inches off my waste.  Really amazing.  I wasn't expecting that big of a difference.  It's weird to me that when I look at my body I don't feel it looks that much different.  I don't feel like my clothes feel that much different, but I'm not complaining.  I really wasn't expecting this big of a loss so quickly.  I wish I could say I have worked out regularly, but I only worked out one day.  Mostly it's all been from portion control, eating healthier meals and snacks, and cutting meat out of my diet.  I am really enjoying the meat cutting part.  It has opened up a whole new world of cooking and a couple of my new recipes have been hits with the whole fam.  I realize that when starting a diet, the weight loss will be bigger at first and then start slowing down as things progress, so I'm not expecting the same results next week.

The first day was the hardest.  I did feel hungry a lot and tried to curb it with more water.  However, I haven't felt hungery since the first day.  I think my body needed to adjust to eating less and also do without dessert.  I haven't had dessert for a week!  That really is a big achievement for me.  I have allowed myself one packet of artificial sweetener in my coffee and cereal in the morning and a couple squirts of honey in my green tea.  Other than that, no real refined sugar.  Go me!  What I'm most excited about through all of this is getting to feel good in my clothes.  Perhaps I'll loose enough to get new ones....someday.

In other news, I have a meeting this afternoon with a prospective daycare parent.  She has a one year old little boy.  He is only one month younger than Brennan and apparently a very easy and happy child.  Here's hoping she's right.  I'm a little disappointed that he is not a girl, but pleasantly surprised how close in age he is to Brennan.  I'm going to assume if this door opens that it's God's leading, and I am going to do my best to take it all in stride. These children deserve my best, and that's exactly what I'm going to try to give them. 

Any opportunity to help us make ends meet and still allow me to stay at home and raise my children is a gift from God.  I told my mother that the thought of returning to work and taking my kids to daycare makes me feel as though I failed my kids; I feel called to stay at home with them during their years before school.  However, the thought of not helping my husband out to provide for the family makes me feel like a failure as a wife; Jeff's business is in the baby stages, and it will take it awhile to really get up and running so we can be comfortable again.  As I told Jeff, I'm not a moocher, I'm his partner.  I don't want him to feel burdened or overwhelmed. God knows my heart, God knows what I can handle.  If he opens the door, he will give me the strength to do this once again.   I am trying to draw on these positive thoughts to encourage me.  I am trying to follow God's leading.  I am trying to remind myself that I actually handled the daycare very well and actually enjoyed it sometimes before I got pregnant and gave birth to a newborn.  If I stay focused on teaching these kids, and not just the behavioral challenges of watching toddlers and preschoolers, I really think I can find some sort of fulfilling joy in it.  Teaching is my real passion. As I said before, time will tell.  In the meantime, I pray, pray, pray. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Here we go again....maybe

Jeff and I came to a decision again tonight that I hope/thought I may never have to do again.  I have just placed and ad to try to find two children to watch in my home.  After crunching some numbers, we decided that having this little extra income would really help us to feel a little more comfortable month to month.  I contemplated finding a night time/weekend job, but that would mean I would sacrifice all my time with my husband.  There are no openings for what I do in the Branson area, even teaching full time general music is not a possibility at this point.  I tried to find private students to teach violin lessons and so far have recieved no interest.  Jeff contemplated finding a second job, but I do not want him to sacrifice the only free time he has with the girls to work more.  Besides he has to get approval from work to do so.  The only logical thing seemed for me to open daycare in the home again.  It was the only thing I could think of that would be minimally disruptive to our current lives.

I'm almost embarassed to admit I'm going to do this again.  I know I had several posts during my pregnancy where I was at my wits end with daycare. I longed to quit and was at the end of my rope with what I could handle.  I just wanted to be a mother to my girls and no more.  God granted me this request.  I think he knew I needed a break and was all out of juice to keep going.  Now, I'm not sure what he's doing with us.  It's a little discouraging and yet I have some peace about it at the same time.  I realize that it could be totally different this time.  For one, Kadyn is older and much easier to care for.  In fact, she can be very helpful at times.  Also, I am no longer on hormone overdrive which means my reactions to things are much more appropriate.  I am recharged again as a person and mother and in a better place then I was shortly before and after Brennan's birth personally.  And lastly, the kids will be totally different.  I could get really lucky and get two other girls my girl's age. In my perfect little daycare world, they would all get along marvelously.  I did always enjoy the social interaction Kadyn received from running a daycare.  She always loved having the kids at her house even when they didn't get along.   

Anyhow, I am covering this in as much prayer as possible.  I figure if no one is interested, then God is just wanting us to trust that he will provide through Jeff's job or that he wants me to go down a different path to help make ends meet.  We'll figure it out one way or another. Time will tell.  Sometimes I like life is always one big holding pattern.  Oh well.  I know God won't give us anymore than we can handle.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Two lovely ladies and fun days/nights

OK a short explanation:  Brennan likes toilet paper way too much.  She always gets it off the roll and then starts to eat it.  Kadyn had a lot of fun with static electricity.  Also, I love bath babies, can you tell? Mama and Kadyn had a lot of fun dancing to the sweet grooves of Michael Jackson, and Mama, Kadyn, and Dada enjoyed watching the special 3D feature on the Monsters vs Aliens DVD.  Always entertaining around here.

Snow day

How luck are we?  We have had an unusual amount of snow, according to the locals.  Kadyn, of course, was itching to get out and play in it.  No she didn't get to make a snowman (Dada was too busy shoveling the driveway), but she did get to play with the neighbor girl.  I think Jeff may have been the only one on our block to shovel the driveway.  Our neighbor didn't even have a snow shovel.  I guess we were well prepared from when we lived in KC.  It was such a beautiful snow.  Looking out back at the creek and trees just made me feel as though I was living in some sort of fantasy.  Trying to soak it all in while it lasts.  If the locals are right, this may be a rare occurrence.  

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Here's mine too:

I know myself too well to know there are some that I'd like to list, but in all reality will not keep.  This is not to say that I will stick to the ten I'm going to list, but for some reason I feel a lot of motivation to stick with these this year.

My new year's resolutions goals:

1.  Nix meat from my diet. After that movie I talked about earlier this has become easier than I thought and fun I must admit.  I am not going to get a guilt trip if I have a couple splurges throughout the year, but I would really like to see if I can do this for my health and to help make my statement to the meat industry about the treatment of animals and the safety of our food. 

2.  Loose 15-20 pounds.  If I feel good at 15 pounds lighter I'm not going to kill myself to get down 5 more, but if I'm doing well and am motivated to keep going, why not?

3.  Exercise more.  I'm not setting a specific goal here, because I know that would lead me down a path to failure, but I would like to get a little more active and toned.

4.  Grow my hair out.  I'm not sure I can keep this one, although I feel good about sticking to it at the moment.  I've never really had long long hair.  Maybe I'll try the locks of love thing.  We'll see.  Ready for a change anyhow.

5.  Get back on a budget and continue to find ways to save money around the house: air dry clothes, turn my furnace down so it's not working so hard, continue making cheap laundry detergent, use bar soap instead of liquid soap, make my own cleaning solutions, cook more rice and beans (a little goes a long way), find more ways to entertain kids at home so we don't use much gas, etc.

6.  Keep working with my girls (mostly Kadyn on this one as Brennan is still learning how to say Mom) on having a relationship with Jesus through learning his word together, memorizing scripture, and prayer.

7.  Keep working on preschool stuff with Kadyn and get involved in Parents as Teacher program in Branson.

8.  Try to balance my time with the girls so they feel equally loved by me.

9.  Keep my patience and perspective on expectations for my kids.  I have really worked on my tone of voice with Kadyn lately and am finding it is calming to both her and I.  It has made a HUGE difference.  It's not easy because I am an emotional person and it often means hiding the frustration I am feeling when she is misbehaving, but it is the right thing to do and she deserves a parent who is patient.

10.  Find more time for me and hubby.  With one child I didn't feel like I was missing out on me time all that much, but with two, it's hard to find.  I know I will be a better mom if I make time for me.  Now that Brennan is older this is easier to do so I want to do this for me.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Should my child learn how to play an instrument?

Trying my hand at a little freelance writing. Here's my first article. Click to read if you're interested.

Should my child learn how to play an instrument?