Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Living Simple- Sanity

I can't count the times I'm asked, "how do you do it?" or had the comment made, "I don't see how you do it. "
Sometimes this relates to feeding and diapering three kids under 4, sometimes its surely relating to keepig my sanity. My answer is simple. We just do it! What else can you do? Just that. Do it! This week I was called "creative" and I guess that is the best way to describe how to "do it". I'm going to share a few of those simple ways that have helped so much in the past almost 5 years. In no way is this to boast it is intended to help because I promise you, I would have loved to have not had to learn some of these lessons and ideas the hard way.
The first lesson to Sanity! This lesson was given to me by a dear friend, my brother.
The advice was given - Pick your battles...I never forgot this and at the time it was given I had no children but This has rung true on so many levels in my life especially motherhood.
Is the world going to end because a 2 year old won't get in the bath or eat his/her veggies. The answer surely not. I am not saying rules and boundries out the window but lets think about this for a moment. The day has gone for the most part beautifully with no major meltdowns. The day has been fun, eventful, and now it's time for that nighttime routine... Supper, bath, bed... The battle starts at supper when the child simply will not each those green things that you call food on her, but he happily ate all the chicken and nooodles, but those green things FORGET IT! He'd rather die than have them anywhere near his mouth. Well if your doing your job as mother then certaintly this isn't the first time he has had veggies, and probably not the first time he has had them today even. You fight and insist on eating at least ONE bite of those veggies, now the child is screaming, maybe even on the floor, supper has been ruined - time for bath. That child is still mad over the veggies do you think there is ANY chance she is getting in the bath now. Nope-not in this house anyway. Oh, but wait, there's noodles in his hair. Bath is a must. More fighting. GET REAL- It's a noodle. Get a wet rag and wipe it out!.. UGH--JUST GO TO BED!!!! Now what could have avoided this? Yep, He ate EVERYTHING on his plate, she's no longer hungry. Does he get dessert? Why No he didn't eat his veggies but certaintly that ONE bite is not always worth that fighting. . . If this is an ever so often accurance, my advice. Pick your battles. Now if this happens everynight then there might be a night when ONLY veggies is served or veggies is mixed in with everything else but that is a blog all on it's on. What I am trying to say is being a parent is so many more things than a dictatorship and children have opions, self respect, and values and as moms our job is to embrace them so they will become self reliant respectful adults.

Sanity lesson two- Have fun!
How long will kids be kids? Well that is debatable because it depends on the child-or adult even. You want a happy stress free home? Then take the time to have fun with the kids. Forget the dishes and the laundry, forget facebook(Yes I am talking to myself here Ha Ha) and sit down in the floor with your kids and have fun. Pitch a tent in the bedroom, read a story, and just listen to your kids. Sit at the table and draw your family like you did when you were 6. Grab a bag of popcorn and plop on the couch with the kids and a movie. Don't be afraid to think outside of the box and don't mind getting dirty.Laugh and be silly. Who's watching? THEY ARE!!!! Which brings me to lesson three

Sanity lesson Three- DO Do DO!!! Do as you say, Do as you would want them to do. Let them see you doing. You want them to use a quite voice? Talk to them softly and turn down the TV... You want them to clean up their room? Let them see you cleaning your room. Let them see you enjoying your clean room. This one I am just now learning! You want them to read? Read to them and let them see you reading. A book, a magazine, The Bible. Anything just so long as they can see you do doing it.

Sanity lesson Four - BREATH!!!! This one may seem the simplest of all, but how many times a day as moms do we find ourselves clinching or teeth, yelling, at the kids to do something, or doing so many things that we can't see straight, can't breath. Take a minute when ever you can to just take a deap breath. While your cooking. Breath in 1.2.3. breath out 1.2.3. You will feel instantly better and it's good for you.

Sanity lesson 5 - This one is new for me too. Find your "thing". Something small that you can spend 20 minutes a day doing for just yourself. Something that makes you remember who you are. Sewing, music, watching a movie, cooking, baking, anything that you like to do that you are not 100% doing for the kids. Can it be something that the kids will enjoy or the end product will be for the kids. Yes if your thing is sewing then of course you will sew your kids something. It's the act of doing that relaxes you and reminds you of yourself. As a former boss used to say, "Process not Product". We learn by doing, we relax by doing(or not doing). Bake your kids a cake. It will make you all happy.Happiness is the true keep to having Sanity in the home!
These are just a few of the things I've learned. I hope that if you find just one that you are not doing you will try it. Stay tuned for my Living Simple-In a pinch!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The beauty after the storm

You know, living in Florida I've seen my fair share of storms from Hurricanes to random thunderstorms. The first thing people look for is the destruction. Trees and limbs down, bridges out, water everywhere in many places and it makes me wonder if anyone is like me. You know the first thing I notice, the sky. The sky is always so blue and pleasant the day after a storm. I look up and I am reminded that God is there, where he always is looking after us in all his beauty. Our lives are just that too. We go through storms everyday some last longer and feel like hurricanes as we watch the Gulf for the tropical warnings rolling in and get hit with storm after storm until the big Hurricane hits. Some are just an overnight downpour but once we surrender all and let God be in control we have this overwelming peace about us. He was ALWAYS there and ALWAYS will be. That peace is the same peace that I feel when I look up at the sky after a storm. That peace to know that God is 100% in control of my life. Nothing is greater than that peace and if it takes a few storms then so be it, but how wonderful will it be when I get to a place in my relationship with God to keep that peace THROUGH the storm. . . . Afterall that is what God wants. He wants us to trust him before, during, and after the storm.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Get out of the Boat!!!!!!!

This is what I hear everyday! In some form or fashion I hear God calling me to just get out. I know in my heart and my mind that His main focus for me, in the past and still now, is my family. This has been my calling for the past 4 1/2 years. Some of you may ask "how do you know?" well let me tell you a little a story with the moral first.
When you fight God he finds ways to get through to you.
I worked my entire life starting at 15 until I had children. I worked two jobs and went to college full time. Busy was all I knew. I met Tommy on a weekend that I had had maybe 3 hours of sleep and NONE the weekend before. I lived in the fast lane. An example of my day was arrive at School at 8:00 for classes ranging from 8-12 and start work at 12 till 5. Class again at 6:00 5 days a week then I worked 10 hour days at my second job on Saturday and Sunday still managing to still go out every weekend. This went on, on and off, for 3 years with various jobs until we got married. We got married and soon moved to Milton, Fl. Shortly after loosing Kaylee, I "happened" upon the BEST job ever.The director and I hit it off immediatly and we became great friends. I started out teaching the younger kids(1's and 2's) and within a few months moved into teaching the VPK Preschool class. That only lasted a month or so and I was pulled into the office and trained as an assistant director. I loved it. I belived I had found my calling. During all this I became pregnant with Brooke, but continued to work and loved every minute of it. I planned to conitune working until I had Brooke and would come back after because she would be right there with me in the nursery. I never expected that I would be put on bedrest at 7 months and THEN I was called home. I fought because I loved everything about where I was and I didn't like change. My mom and I were not getting along great at this time and the last thing I wanted to do was go back home much less bring my family with me, but we did it. A year or so passed and I was living back home and raising Brooke when *I* decided it was time to go back to work so I went job hunting again and found a nice little job at a Child Care center close to home. Brooke couldn't start until she turned one and since it was just a few weeks, I had arranged care for her and started work. A few weeks later as promised Brooke would start while I worked. It wasn't a month later that she got very sick. Fevers and rash that would not go away. My wonderful MIL was gracious enough to take her to the DR so I could work and after about 5 days of this she insisted that something be done. You see I was to busy working and let it interfere with my "Mommy instint". I thank God everyday that she did because on Day 5 the Dr decided to send her to Sacred Heart(which we had already been once) for some testing. He suspected she might have something called Kawasaki Syndrome and called the hospital and told them what to test for. After many hours in the ER the test were inconclusive but she had 5 of the 7 symptoms so they admited her to be treated. She was given Gamma Globulin for 3 days and released. We had not been home an hour before the rash and the fever came back so we went back where they admitted her again for another treatment. Finally the day before Father's Day we were home. I noticed once I settled in that a certain visitor had not arrived yet and thinking it was the stress I ignored it BUT I was stressed and I really wanted to have some wine so I tested anyway. TADA! Happy Father's Day!!! I had to take Brooke to the Dr again and was told that due to the treatment that she would not be able to have her standard shots until 6 months and that she was not to be around anyone with chickenpox. I explained to him where I worked and that she was there also. He advised me that she did not need to be in a child care setting so I was once again "stuck" not being able to work. Plus I was pregnant and extremly hormonal. Go figure, Me hormonal =) . . . We ended up moving a few weeks later due to various situtaions that I'm not doing to get into now. I was content not working while I was pregnant and Brooke kept me plenty busy. I had Eli and was content being home.We moved again after that and found an amazing church where I have been able to meet great friends and really learn how to open up and embrace God. Around the time Eli was 8 months I got that itch to go back to work. I applied at a few places and got a couple of call backs but nothing ever panned out. Guess what happened the next month? Yep. Get ready for Miss Peyton! It gets better though this time. I got pregnant with Peyton in Nov then in March we were blessed to be able to become caregivers to Beautiful Baby Joe! Guess It took more than a pregnancy to tie me down that time.(wink wink). You could definatly describe me as stubborn, hardheaded, and hard of hearing at times. God always knew what he wanted for me though and always found a way to make it happen. Am I saying I got pregnant because I tried going back to work. No it was all in God's plan, but I am saying that when we try to make plans for ours lives and leave God out of it he is never far away and if we are willing to recieve he will find a way to steer us back onto the right path. I don't know what God has planned for me, but I know I am letting him lead.I am hearing more, "get out" now and I have great comfort in knowing that I can't get pregnant. =) but that's not to say that my baby days are over. Only God knows that. This year I am focusing on us as a family, but I am going to find ways to also let God work through me/us and I will stop using the blessings God has given me as a hinderance. The kids are getting older and are able to do a little more and are able to go without me a little more. Tommy can even watch them now. I've been hearing God call me to give back so I know I am starting there. I feel like I can now go out and do God's work even if the kids are in tow. For so long I've stayed in the Boat(Home)instead of taking the kids out into the world to witness to others. I am excited to see how God is going to work this all out. I'm not patting myself on the back or telling anyone what to do this is just me being honest, with myself and everyone else. This is also a reminder to myself for the future. Hope you enjoyed a snippet of the last 5 years of our life!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hearts Changed, Lives Rearranged

Can you name the day you found out you were pregnant? I don't mean when you were due or your child's birthday, I mean the day you discovered for the first time you would be a mom. I can't tell you the day(unless I try to do the math) that I found out with Brooke, Eli, or Peyton. I can tell you what was going on in my life around that time, the month, and I can guess the day but I don't have the fond, "DATE" in my mind. The day I remember very clearly is January 15, 2005. After getting a positive pregnancy test the night before I made an appointment with my Primary Physician for a blood test. It was MLK day and I was sure the office would be closed, but to my suprise, they were open and worked me in that same day. I've often wondered why this date remains so vivid and why I don't remember the rest of kids dates. I think everything about my first pregnancy was very vivid for many reasons. First it was my first. The first time I thought I was becoming a mom. Second, I feel God knew what he had planned for us. He knew that even before I knew I was pregnant that Kaylee's neural tube did not close. He knew that her brain would not form, He knew long before we did that we would choose to place her into his hands long before we were ready to say goodbye. He gave me a mindset so that I would remember everything about those short 3 months. I knew that the sound of loud music(ACDC yeah I know not the best choice) drove her to moving ALOT. You may be thinking at only 12 weeks of your first pregnancy that there is no way that she was moving like that, but I knew. I knew in my heart that something was wrong. I was scared from the begining, but oblivious to accept the reality until it was staring me in the face. After I went to the Ob and all seemed to be normal, I still was unsure. I was excited for what was going on, but I think looking back, it was a show for everyone to see. I didn't see that glow that pregnant women get. I just was very unsure about the entire expeirence but I knew it was vital to remember every aspect. Once we saw the Dr again(a specialist this time) and was told our child had anencephaly, we were then faced with a nightmare choice to continue our pregnancy, experience child birth,and bury our first born or terminate the pregnancy. In a sense I felt this was the easy way out and maybe it was. I prayed for God to just let me miscarry. I did not want to make this choice. I was completly against abortion in any way form or fashion so to say. I learn a valuable lesson in those coming weeks. Never say never! March 16th.... The day our daughters life ended... She wasn't due until September 21st. At almost 14 weeks, I chose to end her life. I took her off life support, that life support was me. You see I was the only thing keeping her alive. In my heart, I felt it was the right thing to do at the time in my life. I don't regret what I did, because I don't believe in regrets. I believe we go through our experiences to learn. I believe God gives us each phase in our life to be used as a testimony for Him. My walk with God at that time in my life was well to be honest almost nonexistint. I prayed everyday and we tried to find a church, but were were newely married(two years felt new) and enjoyed going out and doing things. We enjoyed drinking and parting and living for ourselves and each other. That all changed once we found out we were expecting. No longer going out, looking to live for someone else. Still not living for the One we were supposed to live for. Once she was gone, I tried very hard to be "good", but as depression snuck in I went back to drinking. Anything I could do to forget about loosing her. I remember driving down I10 and thinking If I drove off the road, who would miss me, how long would it take them to find me. Had it not been for God and my belief that suicide was the one unforgivable sin I know I would not be here today. It didn't last long because I knew if I wanted to be a mom and if I wanted to try again that drinking was a big No-No. I blamed myself for Kaylee's condition because we went out and a "had a good time" for New Years. I felt like had I not been drinking that night that she might have had a chance to live. In recent years, I felt that if I had only conitunued the pregnancy and prayed hard enough God could had preformed a miracle and she would be here with us today. Today I stand here and claim he has performed 5 miracles. Myself, My Husband, Brooke, Eli, and Peyton. My miracles. I took Kaylee's loss straight to the internet. I searched out to find others that had gone through this. I found out I wasn't alone. I learned so much from these ladies and was able to support and console those that were going through it. Sometimes we need someone to just say it's okay. My family supported us 100% but noone understood. I made wonderful friends, have grown in my walk with Christ, and as I continue to grow I understand that nothing is beyond God's forgiving grace. I embrace life and my family. I love and fear God for who he is. I thank God for giving me all of my phase. Good and Bad. I've learned that a lesson can be learned from each and someone can be ministered to. I've been saved since I was 14, God never promised all roses, but he does promise that he will never leave us nor forake us. 11 years later as I embrace turning 30 in 6 months. I love life unconditionally and know that God walks me every day. I know that God performs miracles and I know that he will continue to perform them every day, but unless we open our eyes we will never see them. Are your eyes open? Thank you for letting me say whats on my heart and Thank you for following our journey of life.

The mention of my child's name may bring tears to my eyes, But it never fails to bring music to my ears. If you are really my friend, let me hear the beautiful music of the name. It soothes my broken heart, and sings to my soul.
~~Author Unknown~~

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What is a Leader.

As mothers are we not just that, leaders? We should be leading our children in the best direction that we know. We, as belivers, know that that direction is to Christ Jesus. He should be in our homes, in our vehicles, in the grocery store, everwhere we go. When we claim to be a Christian, we claim that Jesus lives with us. How is anyone going to know that, if we are listening to music that is not worthy of His ears? How is anyone going to know when we watch Tv that is constanly taking our eyes of of Him. It may be by foul language, nudity, sex, and so many other things that the world conciders okay.Guess what people, WE ARE NOT THE WORLD!!!! What about when our kids misbehave in the grocery store? Do our actions say, 'I'm a christian'. If your yelling at your at children or cursing at your children do you think it does? Yes we all have our bad days, but as we grow in our walk, we learn to deal and respond to those bad days. Does that child deserve to be disciplned, why yes, but there is an appropriate way to handle these things. Are your children acting up?Are we praying over our children? Are we praying over our homes? Are we praying over our husbands? If we answer honestly and our answer is no to any of these things then are we not failing our children? How do we expect them to do things that they do not see? Children learn by doing AND seeing. Monkey see, Monkey do right? Do you want your little girl shaking here tushy in ways that would make someone think poorly of them or would you rather see her lifting her hands and dancing for the Lord? How about your little boy. Would you rather see him in a looking at the girl shaking her tushy or on his knees praying to resist temptation? Makes you think a little... You may be thinking, wait a minute. She's 2, she's just having fun. Let me tell you, I've seen a little girl about 4 years old singing and dancing to songs that today, I don't even want to list the name. Why? Because it is inappropriate.Why do you think she was singing and dancing that way? That's right because that's what she saw. I don't know where that little girl is today, but I pray that she found someone to lead her in a different direction. Do you think your child is to young to understand? How can you know that? One don't have to understand everything about the Bible or everything about Jesus. Some just have this love for Christ and when it comes that naturally, why hinder it by holding them back. Most of us didn't understand everything when we became Christians. Most of us STILL don't understand. I don't know ANYONE, besides God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, that does understand and know it all. God shows us all what he wants us to know and when he wants us to know it. Pray about and you'll know that. God wants us to love him. He is after all, a Father. He is our Leader. Are we following?

Monday, January 10, 2011

1 husband, 3 kids, 2 cats, 2 dogs, and 3 fish. My life!

Yes you read that right. Forget the 2.5 kids. We went a lil over. Let me ask, how do you have half a kid? I'm just asking, is that the dog, the cat, or the baby because if so the numbers should quadruple. I can handle the kids most days. The aminals on the other hand, well if they weren't so cute, they'd be long gone. Actually that isn't true. I married a Dog Lover and my kids love ALL animals in general. Me, give me a frog or a lizard and I am happy. Slimy and strange and when your done they go back behind glass! Feed them and they are happy. No having to take them out to poo, no cleaning poo off the floor, and when a lizard sheds, it's gonna be in the cage and not all over the furniture! I'm not sure our animals even know they are animals. Baily thinks she is baby, she loves to curl up with us in bed(since the kids don't sleep with us anymore, this kinda works). LittleLee thinks he lives in my hair. Precious Prissy thinks she owns the house and does as she pleases. CoCo well he's CoCo. He loves to play and is a great watch dog. as for the fish, I'm just happy to have some left. We started with like 10 of the little things. You see those pictures of the Lion and Lamb and they are playing. This is our family! the Dogs and cats actually play together. The cats just lay there and let the Dogs bark, claw, and lay with them. At any point I can walk in and the Dogs are laying on cats stomach. No joke. The kids can put the cats in a choke hold and they just lay there like ragdolls. Brooke takes her time as she dr's each animal with her stethoscope and makes sure they have food and water. That's a good thing too because with all 3 of the kids, I think a good day is when they are all fed and stay full. Eli he likes to build the animals houses and if he can't build one, he'll use the doll house and in the cats go. Peyton well Peyton thinks she can eat the animals. She likes to carry them as far as she can around the house and eat their food. She's one what do you excpet? Welcome to My crazy life!!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Saving Grace!

I learned alot that first month, needless to say we survived.I started noticing that Peyton was getting little marks around her chubby little legs. Not a good thing. It meant the diapers where to small. Can't have that. We were saving money because we were no longer buying disposable diapers(for her atleast) so I took that savings and invested in a NEW cloth diaper. I searched the internet all over and came to the realization again that they weRE SOOOOOO expensive. This was the reason I had not started sooner. Everywhere I searched, I found diapers ranging from 15-25 dollars(some almost 30), then you add shipping and handling which is 5.00 in most places. I was really getting discouraged and was thinking that I had to give up. I had resorted to using the one Wrap I had with the Flats and tri folds and changing the pockets every 30 minutes to keep them from cutting into her legs. As a last resort, I typed in CHEAP POCKET DIAPERS(because I had discovered, I liked them most) I heard music singing as I read Cheap OS Pocket diapers. The searching has since changed because the website has change. I clicked on the link and more music as I scrolled over the most adorable diapers I had ever seen and better yet the PRICES. ALL UNDER 10.00. Yes you read that right. The prices ranged from 8.99 to 9.00. I'm not talking cute colors and cheaply made diapers, I'm talking well made diapers(I didn't know how well at the time) and printed diapers with adorable patterns and they all came with an insert. I nice thick microfiber insert. Do you want to know this "magic site"? I'm sure you do. Get ready for the music. It's Go green Diapers
I placed my first order of a Crazy Morning and a pk of cloth wipes. Add the shipping and it was just over 20.00. I planned to wait a week to get them but to my suprise they were here 3 days later. That's from the time I ordered. 3 day! I eyes lit up as I opening the diaper and put it on Peyton. It fit perfectly with it's one size. I snapped it on the medium(I'm guessing setting). It wasn't the last set of snaps and it wasn't the first. Now remember I told you all I am new to this still. I washed the diaper and the wipes and couldn't wait to get it on Peyton. Out of the wash it came and to her tushy it went and stayed ALL night. I used the insert it came with and added one I had. She woke up dry after 12 hours of sleep. This was the first time since we had been cloth diapering. Impressed. Oh Yes, so much that I turned around and ordered more diapers from Ms. Leah a few days later. I now have 5 Go Green Diapers and they are what we use.This is my Crazy Mornings, Fitting name for this house
Blacky(Build a bear) was a wonderful volunteer as he sports Hollywood on the smallest setting.

I am planning on ordering some of her new diapers next month. I said her site had changed so when you go, I will tell you she has added some new diapers called the Champ and it is 14.95 BUT serveal are on sale right now for 12.69. these come with TWO inserts so really they are almost the same price as buying a regular diaper and an insert even at the regular price it's a steal compared to other diapers. I will be posting other blog reviews of the Go Green and various diapers later on so keep an eye out for more. Have a blessed Sunday and remember. "This is the day the Lord has made."

My Cloth diaper experience!

So I mentioned I had recently started cloth diapering. I was blessed by recieving several types of different cloth diapers from a friend. When I say different types, I mean some AIO(all in ones), pockets, Prefolds, Flats,a Diaper wrap, diaper covers,and triFolds.

A little overwelming right. I thought so too. I asked my friend MANY questions, did TONS of research, and finally dove in. I started with the AIO. It seemed the easiest, just put on and go. How hard can it be. Well she pooped in the first one I put on her within 10 minutes. Guess she liked it =)I took it off wiped her tushy and swished it in the toilet. Eww. I went for the next. A pocket. The pocket had just that a pocket to "stuff" with this thing called an insert. An insert can be a premade microfiber insert that looked quite a bit like a cloth menstral pad or can be a trifold or flat folded up and inserted. I was fortunate that all mine were prestuffed. I would have been lost and let me tell you that first load of laundry, I just looked at it and laughed. I had NO idea what to put where. Wonderful friends and youtube are a blessing when you start cloth diapering.We made it through the first week trying different types of diapers. I even got brave and took a trifold( the old time diapers so I call them) and took a gerber training pants to go over it. Easy to put on(even without pins), but GROSS to take off, especially when poopy. That was the last time I did that. I stuck with the All in one and the Pockets for about 2 or 3 weeks.This was my favorite to start with, made by my friend.

Stay tuned for my saving grace of Cloth diapers =)