Thursday, August 30, 2007

My big boy

Posted by Mandy at 8:09 AM 2 comments Links to this post

This really isn't even a great picture of Carter, but it always makes me laugh because it's just SO "him." He's so goofy! I had to make a complete brag post about him today. Last night he went to Cubbies (Awanas) for the first time and he did wonderfully! He sat and did everything the teacher asked, minded his manners (like a 3yr old can mind their manners anyway...), did his little worksheet, and participated in all of the fun activities! I wasn't sure how he'd handle structure like that, but he did fantastic! He's talked all about it since.. I'm so happy for him. I've been doing "school" at home with him for the past week and he's doing awesome. This week we're just starting from the beginning.. letter 'A', a nursery rhyme, and we're working on counting to 14. He can "count" to about 30 but he gets 13-19 pretty scrambled lol. I know a lot of ppl wouldn't worry about letters and such at just 3yrs old, but what can I say, I'm a stickler I guess. I was the same with madison and she's sailed through school, so I'm hoping it will give him a good head start as well so he won't be frustrated when he gets there. He's really enjoying the one on one time with me, that's for sure! He's even working really hard now to stay in the lines when he colors! I'm just so proud of him and all of his progress in the past few months. He'll always be my silly, and probably slightly wild, child.... I'd never want to change that about him... but now I'm feeling a bit more at ease that he WILL be able to make it in the real world as well. lol

Monday, August 27, 2007

Thanks Journey!

Posted by Mandy at 11:01 AM 9 comments Links to this post
The kids and I visited Journey for the first time this Sunday. Everyone was SO welcoming and friendly... it was truly wonderful! I enjoyed everything about it to be honest. The people were great, the service was laid back (as the entire day in general!), there were kids bouncing around everywhere (which is my kind of atmosphere!), and everyone seemed genuinely excited that we were there. I didn't realize how many ppl I knew that went there! wow! Madison knew many of the children already, and Carter was so happy that Ashton was there. (and that's all he's talked about since lol) Samuel got passed around and loved on by everyone, something he's always happy to participate in. :) The sermon was so powerful to me that it actually left me feeling exhausted. I haven't been touched like that in a very long time.

So now the hard part starts. Our search for a new church home. We loved Pauline, and we loved Journey. Hmm... decisions decisions. One of the big things that might lead us to Journey is they don't have the same rules and regulations as many other churches. Since we've gone to the Presbyterian church, we'd all have to be baptised AGAIN just to become members of Pauline... and as a wise friend of mine said recentely (you may give yourself credit lol) "Baptism wasn't meant to be a membership fee..." That's exactly my feelings on the topic as well. I also don't agree with "closed communion" and see it as the complete opposite as the way Jesus would want it. Could I join a church that had these rules and upheld them? I'm thinking no... in the long term I know I'd be unhappy with all of the disagreements. But, I'm trying to keep my heart and head open to where God leads us. (he seems to be doing a great job of leading us already)

So, thank you Journey folks! You made a fantastic first impression. :)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

On my way!

Posted by Mandy at 8:39 PM 0 comments Links to this post
Okay, I posted a while ago about wanting to get back into a healthier lifestyle.. and I have! I immediately started cutting my portions back and grabbing fruits and veggies for snacks instead of chips or sugar filled cereal bars like I was. It's amazing how those small changes can make you feel so different. Within 2 days I had more energy and my general attitude was better! (possibly just from knowing I was focusing on taking care of myself all day long... we mommies can be really bad at that!) I've been exercising too... I've rediscovered Pilates. Oh my.. how I love pilates! I did 40 minutes Friday evening, and 40 minutes tonight. (had to break it up into two 20 minute segments due to Samuel's appetite..but oh how proud I am that I started the tape back up when he was content again!) and yes, it's a video tape.. I got it pre-DVD player. I'm starting to feel more like "me" again already. Just to make myself exercise when it's the LAST thing I feel like doing, and to drink a glass of water when I think I need to eat at night instead of eating a bowl of cereal... it just feels darn good! I've discoverd some new things in the past week that I wanted to share with you all!
- Coke Zero - For anyone out there, like me, that is addicted to Coca~Cola.. this really is a great alternative. It doesn't taste "exactly" the same, but the more you sip on it the more like regular Coke it becomes! (and it's a heck of a lot better than diet.. but still NO SUGAR OR CALORIES!) My only problem with it is the caffeine that makes little Sam irritable.. maybe they have a caff. free version out there.. I'll check!

- Sam's Choice Clear American flavored water - I just bought this today... again, zero calories, no sugar. I'm drinking the strawberry flavored kind now and I LOVE it! Oh my... it will be a new staple in this house!

- Garden Harvest Toasted Chips - okay.. LOVE THESE. They're not really "diet" food.. but they're much healthier than chips! The 'fruit' ones have 1/2 a serving of fruit in each serving and they're 100% whole grain. (two thumbs up!) There are 120 calories for 16 chips (about that) My favorite are the apple cinnamon.. but the banana are great too. I HATE their veggie chips! GAG!

- Flat Earth Baked Chips - basically the same as the ones above. Apple Cinnamon one ROCK (haven't yet tried the other fruit flavors) and I really really like one of the veggie kind (1/2 a serving of veggies in each serving!) it's "Garlic and Herb Fields" yum!

I realize this might be an INCREDIBLY boring post for some of you that aren't interested in this stuff.. but this gets me excited! I'm so happy to be back into eating healthy and exericising. I just hope the scale and my clothes give me the payoff I'm looking for! (I have actually lost one pound... 14 to go!)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Just what I need... (edited)

Posted by Mandy at 6:28 PM 4 comments Links to this post
... to knock me down a peg or two. The perfect follow up to the mushy "I love my kids" post I just made. I decided two days ago it was time to alternate toys so I brought in two old toy bins from the shed to switch out with two from Carter's room. I always make sure to keep any of his favorites in the house.. and I finally got everything all organized and arranged this morning. All of the little "sets" put together, everything bagged up in ziplocks that needed to be, you know the drill. Samuel decided it was feeding time before I could put the lids on the bins and carry them to the shed and I, of course, never got around to that part later in the day. So, I walk in to say something to the kids this evening about supper almost being ready to discover they had almost COMPLETELY covered Carter's room in toys. I swear smoke was possibly visibly coming out of my ears. All of my hard work... gone! They NEVER make messes like that. I told them they couldn't leave that room until it was TOTALLY cleaned up. (which means I will have to do all of my sorting and organizing AGAIN later.. but the lesson had to be learned for them) It took them about 45 minutes and, as shocking as it is, had to seriously talk myself out of spanking both of them because I was so fed up with the mouthing about it. (especially madison) The rest of the evening has been spent shooing them back to the bedrooms because they have seemingly lost the ability to speak in a normal voice and instead think yelling and screaming and running crazy are the appropriate things to do in the living room as Sam TRIES to finally take a nap in the swing.. in the living room. AAARRRGGGHH! It makes me feel like a really crummy mother to feel this way about my kids. I hate not liking them, but right now I'd rather be almost anywhere else than in this house alone with them! I know it being the weekend is making me stressed... I'm basically solo on the parenting all weekend long.. Friday-Monday night. Clayton is working or sleeping or getting ready for work the rest of the time... ugh... fun fun! Well, to make the night complete my sweet little man is about to start wailing from the swing, because my two (usually sweet) bigger kids have run in here AGAIN and woken him up. Oh man... let the battle rage on! (where's Supper Nanny when you need her?)

**Edited to add...
Little Samuel must have known that mommy needed some serious calm down time. I got Madison and Carter off to bed finally (feeling like my head might actually start spin around) and Samuel started fussing. I figured he was hungry so I picked him up and started walking to our favorite nursing chair. He usually lifts his head up now and roots around or at least pushes away to look around... but this time he just layed his sweet head down on my chest. I sat down and expected him to get upset that I wasn't offering up the goods... but he just kept laying there for the longest time! It was wonderful to just sit in silence and hold him like that... so my night did end on a good note... so you can all stop feeling sorry for me. ;) (thanks for the sympathy though... sometimes I need it lol)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Kids update

Posted by Mandy at 8:01 AM 6 comments Links to this post

Do you ever have one of those days that you're just feeling all emotional about how much your kids are growing and changing? I'm having one! I'm sure that my baby girl being a big first grader now is fueling this. Here's a picture of her first day of school... how on earth did she get this old so quickly? When did I blink?! After I got her hair done this morning I had to make her stop before she left for school so I could snap another picture. She just is looking so grown up all of a sudden. I don't want to miss anything! Thankfully she's really enjoying school this year. She says the kids in her class are all nice and she comes home talking about all of the "cool" projects they're already doing. She also has Art this year (which is just what she needs.. she is the craftiest kid!) so that's something she's really looking forward to. She and Carter are so excited to see each other when we go pick her up... can I tell you what a relief THAT is after the summer we had? Last night they played perfectly together. It was wonderful!

Then there's my bigger baby boy. He is just plain SILLY right now. He is sooo going to be the class clown.. no doubt about it! He does everything in his power to either pester someone in the house or get them to crack up. He's really into playing pretend all of a sudden. Clayton let him put on the "big hat" the other day and boy was he in heaven! He started spouting off phrases like, "Get out of the car!" and "I'm gonna shoot you!" (no... I don't believe this is a typical phrase Clayton would say out on the highway but it was disturbingly funny to hear Carter saying it) He sings all of the time now which surprises me! Some of you will remember me saying that he would NEVER learn his ABC's because he would always say "no! Quiet mommy!" when I'd try to sing them to him... that or any other song. (am I that bad of a singer?) Now he asks me all day long to sing all kinds of songs with him and he's actually singing to himself right now as he plays behind me. Oh the changes he's making!

Then there's my smallest baby boy. I could just gush and gush about that lil` fella! I know every mom thinks her baby is the most beautiful... but in this case.. I think it might be the truth. ;) He's just the sweetest guy ever! My favorite thing right now is that he's started to get SO excited when he knows it's feeding time. He'll fuss that he's hungry and when I get ready to feed him he just starts grinning and squeeling so much that he won't really even latch on for a minute! lol He's really got that look of awareness now. When he sees any of us he just lights up! He's learned to coo or squeel to get a big reaction and he uses it a lot! I love it! He's so content and seems just plain alright in this world. I've heard people refer to infants as having "old souls" and if that could ever be true, it would have to be true of him. He seems to just be fine with life, like he knows exactly what's going on. I can imagine him being a later crawler and walker because he's almost too content to just lay still looking around and smiling. Tummy time for him is supposed to be to help strengthen his little back and neck, but he's just as happy to lay his head down as he is to try to look around. I figure all in good time... it's so nice to be on #3 and not really worry about much. Not push him too much to do things and just enjoy every single thing about him RIGHT NOW. Not constantly be wanting him to do something, waiting for the next stage. I almost want to freeze time and stay just like we are. I don't want my 'babies' to get any bigger... and I worry how I'll feel when Samuel DOES get bigger. I know we're done having babies, unless God sends a miracle lol, but my mind wonders what's in store for our family years down the road. Adoption has ALWAYS been in my heart... will God send us down that path? So much to wait to see! It's so exciting... just living.. it's so amazing!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Big bad shots

Posted by Mandy at 12:54 PM 4 comments Links to this post
My poor sweet boy went for his 2 month checkup today... which ended with 4 shots. He cried, and I cried. I think the nurse almost even cried! Of course, he was smiling and cooing at both of us right up until we both held his little legs down and started the torture. Gosh.. does anything make you feel worse than getting them immunized? It's such a long and drawn out process... I'm already dreading the 4 month ones. He's been really fussy since we got them. No fever yet, but I can tell his legs hurt. I have to be quite acrobatic to nurse him right now since I can't really let him rest on his sides. I'll just keep the Tylenol in his system and pray he's back to his normal self really soon.

On a good note about his checkup, he's quite perfect! :) He was 12 pounds 1 ounce (75%), 24.5 inches (95%) and his head was 17cm (90%) So he's still a 'big' boy but he's big all over so he is proportional. When I look at him i think he's so tiny... I told the doctor that and she laughed and said, "Well, I see 2 month olds all day long and when I walked in I almost asked if he was already 4 months!" lol He's not THAT big! ;) (by 4 months he probably will be though.. he's just starting to get little fat rolls all over... love that baby squish!)

So, thankfully he's quite healthy and doing all he should be. I just feel like a big ole monster for holding him down so the nurse could stick him FOUR TIMES. Ugh... you'd think with all of the medical advances we have there would be a better way to vaccinate by now!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Two months old

Posted by Mandy at 7:38 AM 9 comments Links to this post

Little Sam is two months old now.. my how the time is already flying! He's changed so dramatically since we brought him home as a wiggly newborn. Now he loves to be awake and playing. He's starting to really get anamated when he talks and I think we're really close to his first giggle. (I can't wait for that! baby laughs are the best!) He lights up when Madison and Carter both crowd all around his fragile little head... poor thing's been fallen on top of numerous times already. I guess God knows to make them strong little guys. He's still the sweetest baby I've ever had the pleasure of being around. He's so patient, so easy going and laid back, and so very happy. He still almost never cries. Never is really just fussy. It's the most amazing thing I've ever seen. I joke that God gave us the easiest baby ever as a way of making up for having us wait so long for him. My goodness... was he EVER worth the wait! I can't help but kiss those soft little cheeks all day long. I was nursing and rocking him last night after his bath, when Madison and Carter were playing in the floor along side of us with blocks, and all I could think of was that sweet baby smell coming from him. Dreft on his clothes mixed with fresh out of the bath baby wash and lotion... nothing is more yummy than that! Boy am I going to miss it when this short and sweet part of life is over. I'm trying to soak it all up!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A weighty issue

Posted by Mandy at 4:37 PM 3 comments Links to this post
My weight that is. Samuel will be 2 months old tomorrow... it's really time I started doing a bit more to drop these pounds. I'd call it my "baby weight" except I'm already down to my prepregnancy weight... this is my "trying to get baby" weight. I finally forced myself to REALLY look at myself in the mirror the other day. Yikes! Who is this lady? When did my face get so full? When did I lose all definition in my arms and legs? And... I know my rear used to be up a few inches. Then again, I used to earn all of those things with healthy eating and working out almost every single day. Looking good was just a side effect of my longing to be as healthy as I could be. To run for just 5 more minutes each time, to lift just 5 more pounds today, to say no to the junk food because I knew it was toxic to my body. I used to really care what I ate and how much I moved. Now, my life seems to revolve around my children's health. I would never allow them to eat the way I allow myself to. I actually hide the junk I eat from them... I don't want them to see me eating that way and grow up thinking it's just the normal way to live. Sad isn't it? So, I write this because I hope that putting it out there for the blog world to see will help me make it. Each day I wake up feeling so confident that TODAY I'm starting over. TODAY I'm back to my old healthy and fit (and 15 pounds lighter) self. Then what happens? What are my excuses you might wonder? Well, I say them to myself enough... I'll just let you know them too!
1) I'm nursing.. I'm starving... and besides... eventually he'll eat enough that I'll lose weight anyway.
***reasons this is a bad excuse - the junk is still junk.. and I shouldn't be feeding it to Samuel through my breast milk anyway.. it's still unhealthy even if I lose weight while eating it.

2) I'm so tired... it's just too hard to exercise.
***bad excuse because - if I'd make myself exercise, I wouldn't be so tired all of the time!

3) It's too hard to find time to exercise with all of these kids.
***the kids love to exercise with me, and if I'd put housework aside just 30 minutes each day instead of MYSELF, I'd have time.

4) But the PopTarts, Cokes, chocolate (of any kind...), and cookies are just too good!
***when you get diabetes like the rest of your family you won't be able to have them anyway.... stop now before you kill yourself!
*** and as Oprah has said, "This doesn't taste as good as being thin (fit) feels!" So true.. so true

So, my peeps, TONIGHT is the start of a better way of living for me. I refuse to not like my body because of the things I do to it, and I refuse to eat crap that's slowly going to either kill me (diabetes, heart attack, stroke) or seriously diminish the quality of my life just because it tastes good. I'm sure smoking and doing drugs feels great to a lot of people... but it just isn't worth it. Eating is the same thing... only more acceptable. Now, if someone would PLEASE help me convince my husband that I really can't "just not eat it" when he brings treats into the house? If I could keep him away from WalMart... I'd be 20 pounds lighter I think... (excuse #5?)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

For all who lacked faith...

Posted by Mandy at 10:26 AM 5 comments Links to this post

... that my husband would ever get this little project done... he FINALLY did! It's been an ongoing joke for several weeks now that Clayton can basically tear down and rebuild an entire house in one month.. but he just can't bring himself to hang 6 letters in the boys' room. I got these letters totally ready to hang up 3 WEEKS before Samuel was born.. and it took him until 6 weeks AFTER he got here to get them on the walls. Ah well.. I love them and am glad he did it for me! I have a few more things to put together to hang up... and hopefully sometime before Christmas that task will be completed. ;)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The proof

Posted by Mandy at 10:34 AM 6 comments Links to this post

We did make it to church Sunday (the kids and I anyway.. Clayton had just gotten home from work at 4:30am) and here's a pic to prove it. ;) Well.. I guess I could've just dressed them up for a picture, but no... this is when we came home. I actually got up and got everyone ready and to church 10 minutes early! Go me! :) It was tough though... and I was worn out by the time we got home. I know it'll get easier and easier as I keep doing it though.. just gotta keep trying!

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