Thursday, January 31, 2008

Why I've been absent

Posted by Mandy at 2:53 PM 4 comments Links to this post
Hello Blogland. Yes, it is I... the missing one. Why have I not been blogging, you might be asking yourself? It seems that lately my life revolves around a handful of activities that I just do over and over and over again.

1. Feed people
2. clean
3. feed baby
4. clean baby
5. play with kids
6. repeat

"Clean" is to symbolize all things housework. You know: dishes, laundry, floors... oh-my-the-floors... Can someone please tell me why I have to wash towels twice a week when we have not one but TWO cabinets FULL of towels? Don't get me wrong, none of these things are bothersome to me. I typically actually REALLY enjoy cleaning, feeding the fam, and of course playing. The thing is, all of these things, especially when done one right after another for hours and hours on end, really are quite time consuming. I checked my email yesterday for the first time in about a week and had over 200 emails! Yikes! Guess how many were from actual people... go ahead.. it's okay.. guess. Like 6. Six out of 200... how annoying, right?! I want to send an email to the Viagra people to say something along the lines of, "when I grow a penis that experiences ED I'll be sure to let you know..." or to the dating services, "Married with 3 children.. probably will not appeal to the masses." Why do I get these crazy junk emails? (even with my junk mail filter supposedly on "high"... whatever) So, these things are all taking up my oh so precious time so I've had none to blog or even visit all of your blogs. Forgive me. I'm in the process of finding time to play on the puter again. Oh... one good thing that's taking up my time... exercising! Yep.. the hour I used to spend during Sam's nap filling you all in one me and seeing what was going on with you I now use burning and firming. So, hurrah me. Single digit jean sizes, here I come. Eventually...

Friday, January 25, 2008

In the past week

Posted by Mandy at 11:32 AM 3 comments Links to this post

I've learned to:

*push myself up to sitting all by myself

*say dada, mama, and bye-bye

*say 'mama' while crying to make mommy come even faster

*get cheerios, fruit puffs, and other small finger foods into my mouth, all by myself

*crawl on my hands and knees (but only when highly motivated aka. food, the cat's in the house, my brother or sister just out of reach...)

*pull up and nearly fall out of my crib causing my mattress to be put at the lowest level, which made mommy cry because it now looks like a big baby bed, not a newborn bed.

*pull up and nearly fall out of the cosleeper, which also made mommy cry because now that means I'm sleeping in the pack -n- play by mommy's bed, and not the cosleeper. (and mommy will likely never get to use the cosleeper again)

*babble very loudly and realize it gets me lots of fun attention

All of this in one week's time. Amazing what a talented 7 month old I am. More to come! Just wait and see.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I love being a mom, I love being a mom...

Posted by Mandy at 9:13 PM 7 comments Links to this post

... some days (nights) you just need to repeat that phrase over and over to yourself, don't you? You need to look at all of the cute pics you have of fun times with your kids to make yourself believe it. You know.. times like tonight when the stomach virus makes its way to the third victim in the house... your middle child... who has really never thrown up before and decides to do it on your bed while watching a movie with his big sister. Keep in mind this is only about one hour after supper so it's extra disgusting. Also keep in mind Daddy is out working so I have no one to pawn this awful terrible disaster off on. Don't forget to remember that this is the THIRD of the children to be sick this week... thankfully my girl child somehow got a fever but never threw up... something my male children are more than making up for. So, back to the night. Imagine you finally clean up the boy and strip the top comforter off of the bed, that thankfully was made up so ONLY the top comforter was in the line of fire, and you sit your boy on the couch with a trashcan and instruct him to, "sit here while i finish cleaning up... if you need to throw up again, do it in this trashcan, okay?" "Okay..."

You finish cleaning up the CHUNKS of food off of your comforter and floor, nearly putting more there yourself just from the smell alone. (have you had the chance to smell fresh vomit lately?)You throw the big comforter out the back door b/c you're certainly not dealing with that tonight.. or ever. You check on the boy and realize he's acting normal. You instruct him again to "sit here and throw up here if you need to.. -k-?" "-k-" You go back to cleaning the kitchen, which is what you were doing when the emergency situation arose. You're ALMOST finished when you hear your boy child crying... from your room. *is he in my room? how did he slip back in there without me seeing?* You don't even have to get in there to know what's happened. You grab a towel to take with you... yeah.. you'll need it. Somehow the boy child has managed to throw up even more the second time and he made sure to spread it around this time. On YOUR pillow, YOUR sheets, and YOUR entire side of the bed. Yeah...

So, have fun stripping more puke soaked sheets off of your bed and spending two or more hours doing laundry so that you can finally go to sleep. I mean.. you haven't slept all week.. you should be used to the sleep deprivation. And, what else would you be doing at 11:30pm besides waiting for your comforter to dry? (which you probably destroyed by washing and drying it.)
I love being a mom.. oh yes.. I love being a mom.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Doing the moral thing can really suck

Posted by Mandy at 10:36 AM 7 comments Links to this post
What's the first thing you want to do when your husband hasn't taken a day off in about 3 weeks to work straight overtime... and your paycheck comes in? Is it:
a) go shopping
b) go shopping
c) send money to the credit card company

Yeah.. 'a' and 'b' are my top two picks too... and i nearly did just that until I forced myself to calm down and do the right thing. One of our big resolutions for this year is to work really hard to pay off, or as much as we can, our credit cards. Oh the money we could have each month in our pockets if it weren't for nearly 6 years of poverty when we first got married... such is life! Now that we're in a much better position, we have been dedicated to paying off our debts. I've tried to not complain on here about how much my dear poor husband has been working lately (some of you have probably heard a whine or two in real life though...) because I am trying to focus on the positives of it. It IS hard, we DO miss him, and being alone with the kids almost 24/7 isn't exactly what I had in mind when I said I wanted to be a stay at home mom when Madison was born... but the good news is God has really blessed us with Clayton's job. Due to Federal grant money he has the ability to go out and work almost as much overtime as he wants. If you know my husband you'll know that working is what he's good at. So, on his days off he's out for about 11/12 hours busting his behind to bring home a nice big paycheck... and when that paycheck comes in all I can think of is all of the places I want to go out to eat, all of the clothes the kids "need", and how long I've been wanting to go out and get some new tennis shoes. Then I try to chill out and remind myself why it is he's working so hard. Why it is I'm getting gray hair at the age of 24 from being a "single mom".... to pay off debt. It's hard to deal with suddenly having a budget at WalMart when we've really not had one in the past 3 or 4 years.. but saving money is a must in order to send any free money straight to the Visa man's hand. This coming paycheck we think we'll be able to totally pay off another card... two down, 4 to go. (and WHY do we have so many stupid credit cards? I say we cut down to TWO after we're done paying them off! sheesh!) So we are at least making progress... slow and steady definitely isn't the way to go when paying "the man." We tried that method all last year. Nope... when half of what you send goes to interest.. it could nearly make you cry. So, we're trying to throw a few hundred dollars to the lowest balanced card each month to see an actual dent in it in a faster fashion. Wish us luck! Clayton's like a rock when it comes to not spending money. I say that's b/c he's at work all of the time. *tee hee* He has no desire to do anything but sit at home when he does decide to take an oh so well deserved day off. Me, on the other hand... whole 'nother story...
So, I'm trying to focus on my morals and doing what I know is the right thing. I keep my focus on the bigger house I want to save up for, throwing even more money into the retirement fund and our mutual funds. That's a better way to use money! Having more money doesn't hurt any ministry opertunities that might come up for us either. Unfortunantely, money really does make the world go round!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Found his niche

Posted by Mandy at 2:07 PM 6 comments Links to this post

Clayton couldn't be happier. His eldest son LOVES baseball. Clayton was a big baseball player and still loves it to this day so you can imagine his pride when he tosses a ball and Carter smacks it out into the yard. Carter is a lot like me. He has no patience. He has just recently learned to ride a bicycle because before he would get upset IMMEDIATELY if he couldn't figure the pedals out. If he was trying to stack blocks and they fell over he'd pout, "I can't do it!" If he loses a game.... oh Lordy... let's not even go there! But, when it comes to baseball, he is the most patient child on the planet. He can miss the ball 10 times in a row and still be totally joyful as he waits for the 11th pitch. When he hits it he squeels with delight! He finds chasing the ball down as much fun as hitting it in the first place. Clayton finds it hard to control his desire to say "right hand on top!" as Carter's holding his bat incorrectly... or "keep your eye on the ball!" before he throws it to him. I probably say, "Don't... he's just 3... let him enjoy it for a while!" a few hundred times each time we go out to play. I can see the stars in his eyes as he thinks of seeing his boy playing Tball, then Little League, one day. He can hardly stand the wait. I have to say I'm so happy that Carter has something that's just for him. Something only he likes, only he is cheered for. It might be his way out of "middle-child-ness" in the future.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

What's the impact?

Posted by Mandy at 1:49 PM 12 comments Links to this post
Have you ever had a conversation with a child and you knew you'd probably never see them again, but they just stuck in your head and heart? You just prayed that something you said would stick with them? I had this experience recently. I was waiting at the Dr's office to get one of Samuel's immunizations (do delayed vaxing, so we do one a month) and I had Carter in tow, Madison was at school. A little girl was sitting nearby and she came to me and said, "I'm not sick... can I please talk to your baby?" (such a sweetie!) I said, "Well sure! He loves peek-a-boo if you want to make him laugh." She was probably 10 years old... give or take. Carter was playing with the germy, sure to get you sick if you weren't already, toys offered in the office when he decided he didn't want to share with another child. I warned him of what i wanted him to do, he didn't, so I sat him beside me in "time out." The little girl asked, "So, you do timeouts?"
me:"Yes, sometimes."
Girl: "My mom doesn't do timeouts... she spanks me instead!"
Me: "My mom spanked me too, I don't think I ever got a timeout either."
Girl: "Do you spank your kids?"
Me: "No, I decided not to do that."
Girl: "Wow, really? I thought everyone spanked their kids!"
Me: *laughing* "Well, most people do... but I didn't like it when I was little so I decided to be different when I had my own children."
Girl: "Cool... "

A few moments later Samuel got fussy and she asked what was wrong with him. I told her he was hungry.
Girl: "Do you want me to get his bottle for you?"
Me: "Aw, thanks, but he doesn't have a bottle."
Girl: "Oh, so you breastfeed?" (she sounded like quite the grownup asking these questions)
Me: "Yep!"
Girl: "Really?! I hear about that on TV but I've never actually seen anyone do it before!"
Me: *nursing Sam* "If it makes you uncomfortable you don't have to sit here with me.. you won't hurt my feelings. Promise!"
Girl: "No, I think it's neat! Does it hurt?"
Me: "nope.. not at all"
Girl: "How do you know that he's eating enough like that?"
Me: "See these fat legs? That's pretty much how I can tell."
Girl: ***giggle*** "Did your mom breastfeed you?"
Me: "No, I don't think a lot of women breastfed their babies when I was a baby. It probably never even occurred to her to do it."
Girl: "You do a lot of things differently than your parents did, don't you!"
Me: "Yeah, I guess so! I guess when you know better, you do better, right?"
Girl: "Well, then I guess I can do things differently from my own mom once I have kids then!"

The girls mother (who had been back seeing the dr) then came out and told her to come on in a not so nice voice. The mom seemed angry at the little girl just for being around. My heart broke. We've all seen those kinds of parents... always snapping at their children. Always quick to smack them or scream at them. For NO reason what-so-ever. The girl told me goodbye, and I told her thank you for helping me with my baby. I also said, "I can already tell you're going to be a very loving mommy when you grow up."

For some reason this little girl popped into my head this morning. I kept wondering if our conversation would stick with her like it had with me. Would she be able to follow any of the quick examples I had set for her when she had her own child? Would the thoughts of breaking the cycle, being different from what she was raised to be help her be a better mother than her mother might have been to her? I pray to God that yes, it will. I pray that he put us together that morning, for those few short moments, to change both of our lives. Children like that put the thought of adoption closer and closer to my heart. The things I feel we could offer... the things I feel we're not doing God's ultimate will if we don't offer. I have prayed that she would seek out alternative parenting methods as she grows older and these things pertain to her. That maybe a Dr. Sears baby book would be handed to her to teach her all about attachment parenting... cosleeping, babywearing, nursing, and just basic loving and warm ways to care for your infant and your child. Gentle ways to discipline that really work. Oh the things I wish for this child that I do not know. May God bless her!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

When is the quiver full?

Posted by Mandy at 10:07 AM 14 comments Links to this post
I believe there are women in the world that, no matter how many children they have, they will ALWAYS want another. I believe I may be one of those women. Trying to figure out if you want another child, or another baby, can be tricky. Is it purely the desire to have the excitement and wonder of pregnancy? Anxiously awaiting the new arrival? The joyous moment of seeing your baby for the first time? Holding that sweet small bundle to your breast for the first time? Or, is it something more? How do you know? I worry I'll be torn on this issue for years and years to come. You see, Clayton and I agreed that Samuel would be our last child. We agreed that for many very logical and very sound reasons. Reason number one, and the most important reason of all, is because Clayton is really ready to be done with the pregnancy and baby phase of our marriage. He can't wait to load us all up and fly to Hawaii or something like that! (and that's not something I'd like to do with anyone under the age of 3.. maybe more like 4.) He also knows that there's not a snowball's chance in "you know where" that I'm leaving any of my young toddlers, much less an infant, to go off on a trip with him alone. Sorry.. can't do it! He was pretty ready to be done with two children, if we're being brutally honest. He was nice enough to try to make my life as fulfilled as possible by agreeing to have "just one more." Our compromise was basically, we'd have one more because he knew how much it meant to me, and I'd agree to have no more because I know how much that means to him. So, why is it, that I only have a 6 month old and my heart is already aching with the knowledge that this is it. My last. I keep reminding myself of all of the reasons I myself felt Samuel should be our last child. For one, I've already had 3 csections... do I REALLY want to do that to my body again? Would that even be safe? Our lives are just going to get busier as Carter enters school, and then Samuel. After school activities, sports, dance, and church will keep us on the move.... that won't be easy or probably enjoyable if I'm pregnant and then with a newborn. Kids cost a lot.... I refuse to work while I have my kids preschool age or younger... and that's a lot of pressure on Clayton to provide a comfortable lifestyle for all of us. So, see, I AM logical. These are just a few of the reasons I know we're done. It makes sense. The not logical, totally emotional, totally ruled by that motherly instinct, cries over this. One comfort I've found is in the knowledge that if God intends for us to ever have more children... we will. That I know for sure. And, I have to believe that if that is not his intent for our lives, that he will comfort me and mostly take this desire from me. I'm praying it already! I keep thinking that as Samuel gets older, and we get more freedom as a family to go and do things, I'll be happy we're done with the whole baby phase too. One can hope!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

My Progress Report

Posted by Mandy at 11:35 AM 2 comments Links to this post
After one week of busting my behind working out EVERY SINGLE DAY and trying to eat better I weighed in.. I lost 1/2 a pound! My waist is also 1/2 an inch smaller than when I last measured a little over 2 weeks ago. I am so happy! Now if I can really get a bit stricter on my eating, I can maybe do the same next week. It's so hard for me, this eating less/better thing. *sigh* I am at least exercising like I should be. 30 minutes to an hour a day. Weights and cardio. (weights every other day) I did have a slip up when I caved and took the kids to eat at Mazzio's the other day. I did however just order cheese pizza and I only had two peices. Let's not add in the cinnamon stick with chocolate frosting I had too....

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Shameless brag post

Posted by Mandy at 2:37 PM 8 comments Links to this post

Okay, this may make some of you gag, but I have to brag on my girl child. Report cards came in today and i just could not be more proud!!

Reading: 98

Math: 99

Spelling: 100

Writing: 93

Music/art: S

PE: 100

Conduct: 100/S

Seriously... I just couldn't squeeze her enough over this!! I told her an ice cream trip is in her future for working so incredibly hard all Semester. I was even happier when I read a print out attached to her report card. Highlighted in yellow it says: "This student's Grade Equivalent score is 2.5. His or her reading skills are therefore comparable to those of an average second grader after the fifth month of the school year. Madison also achieved a national Percentile Rank of 91. This score is in the above-average range and means that Madison scored greater than 91% of students nationally in the same grade."

I warned you... shameless brag post. I really AM just so proud! Thankfully I'm a seasoned enough mother to realize this has nothing to do with me, or the great mother that I am. lol I'm sure one or both of my boys will be in a totally other percentile when they get to first grade, and that's fine. :) But, for today, I'm basking in her glory!

Monday, January 07, 2008

So ready for summer

Posted by Mandy at 11:21 AM 8 comments Links to this post

I know, I know... it's not even close to summer yet. But man oh man I am so excited just imagining it! The past two days of warm (yet really yucky and humid) weather have me itching to do outdoorsy things again. I can't wait to get Sam in the baby pool, to take Madison and Carter to swimming lessons, to use our new HUGE blow up water slide, to go to Magic Springs a million times, and to just hang out, not worry about getting up for school, letting the kids pick which pair of flip flops they want to wear outside to play... I could go on and on! I LOVE summer! Last summer I didn't love so much. But, being 8 and 9 months pregnant will do that to you. I was just HOT. Hot no matter what. Hot in the house, hot outside, hot getting dressed, hot taking a shower, hot trying to eat... you get the idea. It got so bad that I kept jackets pulled out for my girlfriends when they'd all come over to visit. Everyone insisted it was freezing in the house, but I just couldn't believe that to be true when sweat was rolling down my face. This summer, however, I won't be pregnant (not in my plans anyway!) and I won't have a newborn. That means FUN ALL AROUND! I get to pull out my favorite outfits of jeans, tank tops, and all ranges of sandals. I get to buy popsicles for the kids to eat outside and laugh at the messy faces they have. We can have friends over anytime we want because a lot of our friends are teachers, or homeschoolers, so they're free too. Perfect! I'm like a child waiting for Christmas. I keep telling myself, "It's already January. In 3 months it'll be April, and that's when the warm weather usually hits!" I CAN'T WAIT! It's going to be so great. :)

Saturday, January 05, 2008

I'm going to do it!

Posted by Mandy at 5:41 PM 9 comments Links to this post
So, the holidays are over, spring is just 3 months away, and in a few more months the "I just had a baby" excuse is going to sound quite silly. Yep, I'm doing it. I'm back in action! Sickness, no sleep, and holiday goodies had me down and defeated for a while, but I'm back up and rearing to go! I'm GOING to lose these last 10 pounds. I've pulled out ALL of my exercise videos. From kickboxing to Pilates, from step aerobics to yoga. I've been doing one a night for the past 3 nights and will do the same here on out, just like I did pre trying to get pregnant and pre having the miracle baby. Time to get back to me again. I feel SO good already. Just taking 30 minutes to an hour a day to exercise.. all for ME! Every mom should do it. It's amazing what an attitude change it gives me and how energized I am. I literally drag myself to the dvd player to pop something in... dreading each workout. "I'm sooo.... tired." "I only got 3 hours of sleep, total, last night." "It's just going to make me more hungry...." But, low and behold, as soon as I finish I feel FAB-U-LOUS! It's hard finding the time, I won't lie to ya. Clayton's back on working as much overtime as possible (paying off credit cards is our top priority right now... we're really doing great too!) so I'm here alone with the kids A LOT. But, once I get Sam down for a nap I banish the kids from my workout area and threaten them with their lives if they wake the baby or fight with each other or otherwise interrupt me during MY 30 minutes. Ahh... bliss. I've thrown away almost all of the junk food in the house. I just have a few plain M&M's on hand for emergencies. (which come up at least once a day... but a handful does the trick!) Adding more protein to my diet, and back to organic and natural foods. White stuff is being phased out again. (much to my husband's dismay) Tonight I made tacos and was thrilled to discover that Wally World now carries a whole wheat tortilla wrap and it's delicious!! I could eat them plain to be honest. I'll slowly replace most beef with turkey. Apple slices with peanut butter will replace crackers with cheese. So, if you see me in the produce section, look out! I'm on a mission. I get serious around grapes, cucumbers, apples, and celery! And, if you notice that I'm slowly shrinking down to my old self, don't hesitate to give me a pat on the back. Seriously... it's HARD to get into a healthy lifestyle again and anyone that succeeds at it deserves a hug or something. I'll make sure to give you one if you follow my lead and do the same! Come on... I'll do it with you! I'm full of good healthy living advice, even if I don't always follow it myself. lol

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