Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Four words

Brennan finally hit the 3-4 word minimum the Parent Educator expects to see at her age.  Here is a nice video of that and a few chuckles in between.  Granted Banana is "nana" but it's close enough for this Mama.  Brennan will be going to see an audiologist and ear, nose, and throat specialist this Thursday to see if she needs to get tubes.  She's had 4 ear infections in the last 6 months and they are starting to get resistant to antibiotics.  When I took her in for her last well check she had an ear infection in each ear.  This was a week after she had been on meds for one ear infection. Very frustrating.  Anyhow, because her language skills were behind at her last screening and because she's had so many infections that are resistant to meds in the last 6 months we are going to see if we need to move forward on getting tubes.  Hope you enjoy the video.  It is one of my favorites.

From 2010-03-30

March pics

I just wanted to share a few recent pics of the girls.  They sometimes are known to fall asleep in the van when we are getting across town.  Drives me nutty as it is usually around Brennan's nap time, and she almost never goes back to sleep inside.  Therefore, her naps those days usually only last 10 minutes, a far cry from the 1.5-2 hour naps she usually takes in her crib.  Anyhow, I digress.  Kadyn doesn't nap anymore, but something about the motion and humming of the engine or perhaps the heater blowing on her causes her drift off in the van.  This particular day I decided to let them nap a little longer and just parked in the garage, rolled down the windows, grabbed a chair, and read a magazine by the van while they snoozed away together.
Next up we have Mama showing the girls (at Jeff's request) how to do a teapot.  A learned the teapot when I was very young, and my mother put me in gymnastics.  It was the precursor to learning how to do a handstand which Kadyn seems to be very interesting in doing these days.  Not the most flattering shot, but who cares?
Next we have the girls during one random lunch.  I just happened to catch them during a moment that turned out funny.

Then we have a beautiful rainbow that Jeff just happened to see glancing out the window.  It was Kadyn's first time to see a real one.  She was excited.  It was a good review of a lesson on the flood that we had done last summer.  It was fun to show her God's promise for real.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Just Bren

Just a few pics of my youngest.  In these two photos I was trying to capture Bren's latest boo boos.  She got a little independent of me on nice springy afternoon while we were outside and tried to walk off on her own down our our sloped driveway.  She took a little nose dive into the pavement.  Surprisingly, she didn't cry much. It did look much worse in person though I must say.

The last picture I was trying to capture that crazy hair of Bren's.  Some days it actually lays down, but most days it's just wild.  I keep thinking any day now it will get too heavy and finally lay down, instead she just keeps looking more homely and crazy.....but I love it! I did give her a little trim yesterday as Jeff wasn't fond of the mullet it was starting to become.  Let me say, it was NOT easy cutting that kid's hair.

Lastly, I have a video of her one evening when we were alone just the two of us.  I drug the little kitchen into the living room to keep her occupied.  She thought that was cool to see the kitchen out of it's usual spot and was having a good time opening and closing all the cabinets while saying her favorite word, "Uh oh."  Too cute not to post.  Click on pic to see video.
From downloaded 3-21-10

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday Kadyn!

OK, these two pics were not taken on her ,but they were too cute not to post. It is Kadyn posing as a mini me and a mini Jeff.  She tried on both our glasses.
This is part one of the festivities which happened a week ago.  Kadyn shared a party with one of her good friends, Mollie, whose 4th birthday was last weekend.  They went to build a bear, and she got to make a pink unicorn she's been eye balling for awhile. 
After build a bear, they both got to go out to eat together.  They were treated to the birthday song by the staff at the restaurant and got a free dish of ice cream.  She had a good time.
We started out the actual day of her birthday opening her first present, a camera.  She then got to take it to her very first circus to capture some of her day in photos.  There were tigers, mini horses, dogs, elephants, clowns, and tons of acrobats.  Kadyn didn't react the way we expected her too.  Mostly she was sat back and soaked it all in, quiet as a mouse.
We ended our day with a birthday cake and opening of a few more gifts, one of which included a brand new scooter.  She didn't really act all that excited about the scooter but quickly realized how cool it really was and then fussed when it was time to go to bed because she wanted to ride it more. 
Overall, it was a really relaxed, fun, and memorable birthday.  It is hard not having family to help us celebrate our childrens' birthdays, but we feel blessed to be in an area that we have a wide selection of things to go do and see to make all birthdays different and memorable.

Happy birthday Kadyn!  We love you so much and love seeing you grow.  We look forward to spending many more years with you.  I am going to cherish this next year as much as possible because it is our last year together 24/7 before you go to school. Drip, drip.  I hope it doesn't go too fast.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Just curious.

Easter is coming, just around the corner.  I have been stewing over what to get Kadyn.  I think every family is so unique in how they celebrate this holiday.  We used to only get a big basket of candy and a chocolate Easter Easter bunny every Easter.  I do, however, remember one special Easter where we found a new vinyl record in our hunt for eggs with kid's songs on it.  That was a very special Easter indeed.

What's weird is I don't remember what I got Kadyn last Easter.  I do remember getting her a potty chair for her second Easter which we filled with little chocolate easter eggs (Jeff thought I was gross, I thought I was funny).  We've moved way beyond potty training obviously, so this year I'm scratching my head wondering.  Her birthday is so close to Easter, it almost steals all my ideas for what I could get her for Easter. 

We will dye eggs, have a Easter egg hunt, and of course eat lots of candy, but for some reason I feel there should be a little more too it.  So....I'm curious.  How do you plan on celebrating your Easter?  What   traditions have you started?  What do you get your kiddos?  As some point, I need to sit down and read the Easter story to Kadyn so she doesn't forget the true meaning of this holiday.  I'd really like to make a bigger deal of it, I'm just not sure how yet.  Keep in mind, if you share your traditions with me and I like them, I may just have to steal those ideas.  No hard feelings OK? :)  This Mama wants to make a bigger deal of Easter because....it is a BIG deal!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Little family update

Not much to say really.  Just felt like I hadn't posted in awhile and going through a bit of blog withdrawal.  We are trucking along as usual.  Here's the latest scoop of each of us.

I am plugging away doing the daycare.  Calls for new kids have been few and far inbetween.  The new baby started last week and filled the spot we REALLY needed to fill, the rest of the spots we can be patient on so to God be the glory for that.  I figure if he wants them filled, he will fill them.  I got really sick for one day last week, but somehow managed to continue to watch all four kids and make it through the day with a fever, chills, body ache, head hurting and all.  I pretty much knew I had caught what all the kids had already had so I wasn't too worried about the kiddos.  Thankfully the next day I was doing much better aside from all the cold symptoms that seemed to linger for several more days.  I still have bouts of coughing each day. 

Brennan has yet another ear infection and her nose stopped running for all of two days.  Now it is running full blast again.  She is on another antibiotic.  I've just started to accept that being sick is just going to be a way of life around here until summer.  I give up hoping for anything better than that.  Aside from being sick, she really is in good spirits.  She seems to be overnight turning into a big kid.  She can eat at the table with the rest of us.  I have started teaching her how to use a normal cup.  She is coloring, playing with playdough, finger painting, etc.  She has started to say Mama a little more and even has attempted "nana" for "banana."  She is starting to get pretty quick and steady on her feet.  I still love watching her walk everywhere.  She's a kid on a mission, unable to sit still for longer than 10 seconds.  Busy, busy, busy.  I especially love watching her carry her little purse around on the crook of her arm, and I especially love asking her to give me kisses which is basically her leaning her whole body into your head.

Last weekend we started the first of two birthday celebrations for Kadyn.  She got to go with a friend, who's birthday is only one week apart from hers, to build a bear.  She made a pink unicorn she's been eye balling for some time.  She also got to go out and eat and have the staff sing her happy birthday.  It was funny watching her wake up the next morning with an adult sized t-shirt on (she got that at the home show last the weekend before) which went down to her ankles, holding her old teddy bear, her new pink unicorn, her two birthday balloons, and wearing her birthday crown.  This weekend we do celebration number two.  We will be taking her to a circus for the first time ever.  We will then come home to cake and icecream and a few gifts with just the four of us.  It should be a good time.  Pics of the festivities to come later.  Her real birthday is this Saturday.

Jeff is busy plugging away at work.  Seems he's usually gone either one night a week or on the weekends doing something work related. I wish I could say business is great.  It's not bad, it's just.....slow.  It's been a bit of a disappointment, but we still hold out for better times.  I can't even allow myself to think of the "what if's" when it comes to his job, or I go crazy.  So for now, we are not allowing any "what ifs", only whens.

Jeff's family will be visiting us over Easter.  It is soooo nice to have family around during holidays.  It just makes things seem more holidayish.  So besides this weekend's festivities, I have something new to count down for.  Looking forward to seeing Brennan hunt for eggs for the first time ever.  Although, I'd love to do it outside, I'm afraid she'd roll down the hill looking for them, so we will hunt inside this year.  It should be a good time. 

Friday, March 12, 2010

Week 10: score and moving on

Ten weeks in and I weighed in at my exact goal this morning.  I only had a half a pound to go, and that's all I lost.  I was a little disappointed it wasn't more, but can't complain that I actually made it.  I have to admit part of my disappointment was because I had cheated and weighed myself yesterday after having a fever most of the night.  I know that usually when people are sick they loose a bunch of weight.  I was curious.  The scale showed 1.5 pounds lighter than it did this morning.  Guess it was all water weight from all that sweating I did. 

Anyhow, I'm glad I made it.  I'm thrilled it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.  I can't believe I have been meat free for two whole months (with the exception of one frozen pizza).  It's nice to feel better in my own skin.  Overall, this has been a very positive experience.  I am closing my weekly weigh ins for now on the blog since I do consider myself in a healthy weight range now, but I do plan to move forward with my diet by loosing another five pounds.  Hopefully I can get that done by my birthday.  What's crazy is that if I do loose another 5 pounds I'll actually be the exact weight my driver's license says I am.  I remember looking at that number these last few years thinking there was no way I could ever get that low again.  How nice it will be to go in to renew my license and tell them not to change my recorded weight.  Awesome!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Parents as Teachers visit

Our Parents as Teachers lady came to visit and screen the kids today.  Kadyn, as I suspected, tested way above level.  She was testing at a 4,5, and 6 year level on most everything.  After the lady got done, she said and I quote, "Just speaking under the table, she's not normal.  I have 5 year olds that can't tell me this stuff."  Of course it's hard to not just beam with pride when you hear this as a Mama, but there are also concerns with having an exceptional child.  I worry that she won't be challenged enough in school, or that she won't get any one on one with teachers because the challenged kids will get most of the attention.  I suppose that's why I have an important roll in making sure she gets the stimulation she needs at home.  I have struggled with the idea of Kadyn being gifted because I've never been really sure if she is gifted, or just is simply the product of a mother who takes a lot of time to teach her these things.  However, after working with other children her age I am now realizing she is very bright indeed, although I won't really know if it is gifted until she gets older.  What takes other children a long time to comprehend, takes Kadyn only a short while. 

I'm always having to think of new and creative ideas to move her to the next level and keep her stimulated.  I'm so proud of her and hope she realizes how blessed she is that she gets things so easily. I was never like that as a child.  I really really hope this does not make her lazy.  Sometimes when children get things easily they never learn how to work really hard towards something.

Brennan tested at level for everything except speech.  This was basically what I was suspecting her results of the screening would be.  She only says three words Dada, Uh oh, and grrrr.  She barely babbles at all.  Her receptve language is very good.  She can point to many body parts and identify many things in her picture book through the use of her pointer finger.  She also can follow simple commands and she knows and uses four baby signs.  Her lack of trying to speak though does concern me.  Brennan seems to be plagued with ear infection after ear infection and both the parent educator and I feel this may have something to do with it.  As she put it, we have to repeat things twice as much for Brennan to really cement it in her brain because she hears words two different ways, with an infection and without and infection. 

When she did the hearing test she noticed Brennan failed to turn her head in the direction of sound with her right ear.  This is the ear she had an infection in two weeks ago, and I kind of suspect she may still have.  She has a well visit coming up soon, I'm a little nervous about what they will find with her ears.  I think we are headed quickly on a path towards tubes.  She has had 4 ear infections so far in less than a year.  I'm so ready for my baby to get better and stay better.  She has been plagued yet again with another cold which is why I am suspecting another infection.  This is our third cold since January.   She almost always gets an infection with every cold.

Anyhoo...I love those visits.  It's good to hear someone say your kid is right on target, or if you're lucky, ahead of the game.  I will admit, Kadyn did fail only one part of the test.  Apparently she's a little challenged in the physcial department when it comes to catching a small bean bag.  That may just be because we don't do a lot of that kind of play around here. I suppose I should get on top of that.  One thing is for sure, I in no way feel guilty for not placing her in preschool.  I get irritated with people that ask me if shes in preschool and then act as though I'm doing her a disservice by not placing her in one. She knows more than most preschoolers and she is very well socialized.  I don' t know how many times she comes out of sunday school proclaiming she has a "new best friend."  Any time I take her to a park she befriends the closest kid within 5 minutes.  I know my kid and I know what my kid does and doesn't need.  I don't like being made to feel guilty because I didn't put her in preschool.  OK I'll get off of my soap box now.  It's late and I need to get to bed.  I just wanted to share because I'm proud of my little ladies. 

Starting a new day

Today I will be starting a new little one.  We are all excited because it will be the first girl I have ever babysat.  She is younger than I had hoped to find.  She is 7 months old.  However, Kadyn and the other little boy I babysit are 9 months apart in age and play together beautifully.  I figure in time, it will be the same case for Brennan and this little one.  It sounds like her schedule is very close to Brennan's schedule which will make things 10 times easier for me.  Her mother performs in 3 different shows down here.  I know this sounds ridiculous, but it almost made me feel as though I was babysitting a famous person's kid.  Laugh if you must:)

Anyhow, she won't be here for the full 10 hours each day, but long enough to be considered full time.  We are all excited to add a little more estrogen to the house.  I wonder how Brennan will react.  I guess we'll find out in an hour and a half from now.

I am still trying to fill 2 more spots.  The calls for these openings have been far and few in between.  I have posted an ad in Craig's list.  I have put up a sign at the entrance to our subdivision.  I have notified the church of the openings in case anyone asks for a referral, and I will be sending flyers to all the moms of the PM MOPS group.  Jeff was kind enough to set up a website for me.  I felt this was a must to up the level of professionalism, and it would help me advertise a little bit better.  If you are curious you can check it out at www.tinytoes.us.   He did a fantastic job, although he thinks his work is amateur.  I think it's perfect!  We still have to add two testimonials, but after that it will be complete.  I think I have one more sign to post, and then we can just sit back and wait to see what God brings our way.

Last week was a trying week.  I really REALLY needed to fill the the little guy's spot who left us this week.  I barely got any calls. I was clinging to prayer and scriptures about God's provision and purpose in my life.  I commited one to memory. I tried to lay it in his hands and know he would provide somehow and quit worrying.  It was hard.  Just when it seemed we were going to start this week minus one child, I got a call from the 7 month old's mother.  We met Sunday night and plans were made to start today.  My Mom has always commented how God likes to do things last minute. I suppose this is to force us to cling to him and commune with him.  I suppose he got exactly what he wanted because that's exactly what he did and.....he came through for me like he always does time and time again. 

So...here's to a new start with a new child.  Thank you sweet Jesus for new beginnings and provisions.  I pray that we will a blessing to her and her family as I know they will be to us as well. 

Friday, March 5, 2010

Week 9 weigh in

Well I was a little surprised when I stepped on the scale this morning.  I'm down another 3 pounds. My second biggest weight loss in one week to date since I started.  I guess last week's disappointing weigh in motivated me quite a bit, although last Saturday I cheated....a lot.  The girl's and I went to Chucky Cheese and I ordered a small veggie pizza.  They are soooo expensive, but their pizza is sooooo good.  I really didn't want to carry a take home box, my diaper bag, and Brennan back to the van and then let it sit in the van for who knows how long until we were done with our errands and on our way back to Branson.  I certainly couldn't bring myself to just leave leftover pizza at Chucky Cheese, especially pizza that tasted that good and was so expensive.  That left me with only one option, eat everything the girls didn't eat.  Kadyn had two pieces, Brennan had one piece, I (gulp) had the rest.  At least they were small pieces.  Anyhow, I digress.

So needless to say, I was very happy to see it didn't thwart my efforts to loose this week.  This leaves me with only .5 pounds to go until I reach my goal.  Seeing as how my deadline to reach my goal was supposed to be May 13th, it seems I have plenty of time to make a new goal and reach it.  So...today I want to declare that I will loose yet another 5.5 pounds.  This would put me at my college weight (my early college days anyhow).  I felt good during that time, I was confident in my own skin.  I don't see a need to go beyond that unless my body just decides to do that on it's own.  I certainly don't want to look wafe like, but I figure as long as I'm not walking around hungry all day, I'm still healthy.  It'd be nice to be a little lower so that if I do have a splurge I have some room to wiggle.    I really want to have a big ol' Andes frozen custard but I don't want to screw up all my efforts this close to my goal.

Although I'm not working out, I can tell my endurance on everyday things has gone way up.  Not carrying around all that extra weight really does make a difference in energy levels.  I even feel lighter on my feet.  It's amazing how differently I feel with only having lost 16.5 pounds.  This may not feel like a lot to some people, but it certainly feels like a lot to me judging how differently I feel.  I have gotten sick about 3 times since I started my diet.  Two of those times the sickness was very mild.  I kept thinking I would get worse but it just stayed mild and then left.  I often wonder if my new vegetarian diet has made an impact on how well my body reacts to being sick.

I have two pairs of stretchy jeans. I LOVE stretchy jeans, and dislike them somewhat too.  They are so comfy.  I put them on and they are snug.  By the end of the day they are loosened up quite a bit which requires me to put on a belt.  Lately, I've had to cinch up my belt so much that the fabric is starting to bunch up and look silly.  I've had to roll up the bottoms and yank them up all day long.  It's almost time to go down a size.  I'm so thankful I didn't throw away my skinny jeans.  I almost did after Brennan was born. I remember holding them up thinking I'd never be that skinny again.  I told myself I wasn't allowed to even try them on until I reach my goal.  Here's hoping I get to try them on next week.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The many faces of Brennan

This video cracks me up because of the faces Brennan makes.  She has this look of just sheer dislike that can come in a split second.  You'll see it.  Like I've said before, she's an emotional child. Click the pic to see the video.

From downloaded 3110

On a different note.  I'm excited that Brennan has moved on from trying to chew the crayons to actually coloring with them.  She really does enjoy it now.  I was impressed with this particular coloring session.  It's elementary for sure, but it's a Picasso to me.  Our Parents as Teachers lady says to get them doing this kind of stuff very early because they need to build the muscles in their hands up for school.  I have always done this stuff from a very early age with my children (mostly because I think it's fun) so I didn't really understand this until I recently saw 3 year old child complain that his hand hurt after only holding the crayon for a minute.    

Brennan has also started taking a big interest in books. I have always tried to read to her, but her interest was limited.  She has finally found a love for reading and now sifts through our shelves of books, picks one up, tosses it on my lap, turns around and backs her booty up to my lap, plops down and expects me to read right that second.  I am so glad she finally sees a love for reading.

Growing up; it started with a spoon.

This morning it dawned on me just how much Kadyn has grown up.  She can dress herself, brush her own teeth, go to the bathroom without assistance, sit at the table without a booster chair,  I rarely have to cut up her food and just this week she has started bath herself completely without my help.  It is such a freeing feeling knowing that I am raising a child who is so self sufficient.  I remember many times having to hold myself back from helping her knowing that at some point she had to learn how to do these things.  It's hard to hold back help because you know you could do these things ten times faster yourself.  I'm very proud of Kadyn and the young lady she is becoming.    It's all bittersweet.

Now I begin this whole process again with Brennan.  It starts with learning how to use a spoon.  I catch myself wanting to just do it for her, but then I remind myself of how good of a feeling it is to see my child be able to do things for themselves.  It's this weird feeling of knowing that your child will be OK without you.  It makes it easier to leave them with other people should you ever want to get out once in awhile.  Yes, it is a long, patience testing process, but it is all worth it.

I really love this age Kadyn is in.  She has become more mature and we can actually have conversations that go beyond peekaboo or Sesame street.  It is the budding relationship of what I hope will one day become friends as she grows into a young adult.  I am really excited about the years to come with my girls as they age.  I will miss the little baby stage of course: the cute things they say, the bow legged little body wobbling around the house, the innocence of taking everything I say literally, the snuggling in the rocking chair together for naps or when they are sick.  However, what I'm about to gain in the future with my children will make saying goodbye to those times all worth it. 

I've said this before but I hope to be able to do this all one more time, but not for the reasons one might think.  I don't really enjoy pregnancy all that much.  Raising an infant and a toddler can be exhausting and hair raising.  However, the thought of having one more person to be in our family unit,  one more person to share laughter with, hugs, kisses, tears.  One more person to create memories with.  One more person to go through my journey with.  One more person to guide and nurture. Then getting to see what they become... that all makes the idea of one more so inviting. 

We shall see.  It's in God's hands.