Monday, September 27, 2010

Momma Needs a Big Mac!!!!!!!!!!

Today was John's 4 month check-up. David wasn't able to stay home and go with us so I had to take both kids by myself. We got there at 10, but apparently I had called and changed the appointment to 9 am but hadn't changed it on my card!!! Thankfully they were able to work us in....we had to wait a bit, but we got in! John is growing to be a big big boy!! He is already over 16 lbs! The doctor also said that he thinks John's eyes are ok, but since they still look kind of crossed, we will be taking him to an ophthalmologist at 6 months just to make sure. He also commented on how talkative John is! John is not rolling over at all; however, he is trying to pull up to a sit. It is amazing how different kids are!

The doctor also asked how Jessica's speech was going. I told him that the Speech Pathologist also agreed that she was not "on the spectrum" (although I think a lot of that had to do with what I had told her I thought....since I am the School Psychologist), and he said, "Good. I had actually been a little worried about that." Oy vey! Good thing for Jessica that her mother is a School Psychologist; otherwise, I think she would have been diagnosed as being "on the spectrum" by now. They give those diagnoses out like candy these days!!!!!! More on that later. I digress....

John got two shots, and we went out to the waiting room to pay. I turned around, and Jessica was standing there stark NAKED!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then she started yelling, "Pee Pee, Pee Pee!!!!" so I grabbed her and ran down the hall to the bathroom (with her still stark naked....the people in the hallway found it very hilarious.....thankfully the waiting room was empty)! Then we went back, cleaned up the mess, changed her clothes, and got me a flu shot!!!! Let me just say that was one of the's visit!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bible School

Like most parents there are things we feel it is important for our children to learn before they leave home. Things like: how to cook, how to do laundry, basic sewing skills, how to use a gun, how to defend yourself, how to drive a car, how to fix a car, how to fix a computer, how to manage money, how to clean, a good academic foundation, etc. We also think it is important to have a firm grasp of both the Constitution and the Bible. The Constitution is the guiding document for how we live in this country, and the Bible is the guiding document for how we live in general.

We have really enjoyed our one-day a week Preschool! I have been meaning to add a Bible component at some point, and I finally did it this week! Jessica, John, and I had a lot of fun doing it!! We are using some church nursery curriculum that my mom wrote on the Creation in conjunction with some hands-on activities and crafts. I plan to continue using nursery curriculum and focusing on what God made until Jessica is ready to move on to doing a different story every week using storybooks, videos, felts, puppets, etc. I used to love writing Sunday School curriculum, so I am having a blast with this!! I don't know who is having more or Jessica!!!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


We think that as parents, we are defined by our parenting style: baby wearing vs. travel system, disposable vs. cloth diapers, breast-fed vs. formula-fed, stay-at-home vs. working mother, homemade vs. store-bought baby food, time-out vs. spanking, limited vs. unlimited tv, scheduled vs. unscheduled, public vs. private vs. homeschooled, etc. I could go on all day...BUT what truly defines us as parents is whether or not we love our children and let that love guide our actions. You can read all kinds of arguments about why this parenting method is better than that parenting method, but in reality, we will ALL make mistakes. What truly matters is that we love our children and do the best we can to let our love guide our actions. As a child, you can't ask for better...there are plenty of children out there whose parents do not love them and treat them quite badly. Arguments and posturing over parenting styles and such just serves to build some people up by tearing other people down. Parents are hard enough on themselves without the "help" of others. Perhaps instead it is better to be thankful for parents that love their children.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Christmas on $20: Part 1

Christmas is a mostly homemade affair at our house: 1) to save money but 2) we enjoy it! The real trick is in the planning. If I give myself enough time to plan and create our children's gifts, then (I think) their Christmas looks every bit as good as those of their friends (except much cheaper)! This year it looks like our total cost for Jessica and John will be $20 (maybe a bit more if David needs more wood).

First up: Jessica's American Girl-Styled Doll for $10. Jessica has been fascinated with dolls that have hair (all of hers are bald). I wanted to get her a doll about the size of the American Girl Dolls because they are so easy to find clothes patterns for, but I did NOT want to spend $95! The Springfield Doll carried by Michaels was perfect at the 50% off price of $10! It is not nearly the quality of the American Girl Doll, but it will be perfect for an almost 3 year old! If at some point we want a better quality doll, we might consider the My Generation Doll carried by Target. It retails for $35 and is supposedly a little better quality than the Springfield Doll.

Next up: John's Shakable Containers for $0. A friend of mine made some similar to these when her little girl was about 6 months old. Both her daughter and Jessica loved them! I used empty cranberry juice bottles and...

things I found in the kitchen: rock salt, oatmeal, beans, and rice,...

things I found in the craft closet: bells, sand, and star and moon confetti,...

colored water with beads, confetti, sequins, etc,...

and oil and oil & colored water!

See? It kind of looks like the surface of a lake!

Since some of these items are choking hazards, I used my husband's epoxy to secure the lids. There is no way the kids can get in those containers, unless they get access to a knife!! My friend suggested coming up with a container to keep them in. What do you think? Do you think I need a container? If so what kind of container would you suggest? I do not plan to leave these out around the house....just in case Jessica finds a knife and manages to open the shouldn't be possible, but you can never let your guard down with Jessica around!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pictures from Our Trip

So, the family (aka my sister, Kim) has informed me that they would like to see pictures from our trip. I have posted a few below; however, some of the pictures are on our dads' cameras so I don't have a picture of everyone. I need to get copies when we go up at Christmas. Enjoy!

Jessica hanging out with Aunt Katie.

Jessica and Mommy jumping in the pool on the last day we were there (she was not so sure about the pool the first day and still is afraid of the water).

Playing in the pool with the family (again the last day we were there).

Jessica hanging (literally) out with Uncle Adam

....and Uncle John.

Proof that David was there.

John talking to Grandma Beth.

Best picture yet of me and John.

Jessica and Uncle Scott playing Ninja Turtles!

Uncle Scott taking a break to hold baby John.

My mom's side of the family meets baby John.

Jessica's accommodations for the trip.....the only place I felt was safe enough.....a walk-in closet!

Jessica cooking with "Aunt" Susie.

Jessica causing mayhem and mischief with Aunt Ashley.

Jessica causing mayhem and mischief with Aunt Kim.

"Aunt" Susie with baby John.

John meeting my dad's side of the family.

Aunt Kim making baby John laugh!

Aunt Ashley making baby John laugh!

Meeting the great-grandparents.

Jessica in the pool the first day -- My thought was that if I let her explore the pool in her own way and did not pull out her swimsuit maybe....just maybe she would get over her fear of water. Well, it didn't work. She is still terrified even though she remembers how to swim so I am just biting the bullet and signing her up for a private swimming lesson this winter because I don't think my nerves can take making her swim....

Overall, a wonderful trip!! My apologies for not getting pictures of everyone!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tutorial Coming Soon!

Front view

A few weeks ago I made John an adorable "chappy hat," otherwise known as a newsboy cap, for when he went to meet the family. My siblings and cousins (on my dad's side of the family) like to wear them to go get coffee and talk the entire time in a British case you couldn't tell, that side of the family tree grows straight up! Once I perfect the design with a second cap, I will post a tutorial. I think he is going to rock the little old man look this winter with his bald head!!! Definitely a better look for a baby boy than the ever popular preppy or skater look!

Side view

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I love playing Santa Claus!!!!

I am a big kid at heart....that's why I had to become a School Psychologist....I couldn't work at a job where I didn't get to play or act up all day! ;-) I have been thinking about Christmas for a while now, but I have finally finalized my Christmas plans for the kiddos....and I am sooo excited that I am about to BURST!!!!! (and I already told several people!!!)

Christmas at our house is predominately homemade. We started doing this for several reasons. First and foremost we did it to save money, but we also enjoy doing it. I remember my parents making gifts for me and my siblings, and I have always treasured those gifts the most because my parents took the time to make something just for me!

Recently, Jessica seems to be particularly taken with dolls....specifically dolls with hair (since all of hers are bald). So, for Christmas we have decided to build her a small baby doll care center (a changing table type of thing) and get her a doll with hair. I had wanted to get her an American Girl style doll because you can easily find patterns for making clothes, but I did not want to spend that much money. Well, tonight I found some knock-off American girl dolls online!! Michaels actually carries the Springfield dolls for $20. I also found a 50% off coupon!!! So tomorrow I am going to Michaels to buy Jessica a $10 American Girl styled doll!!!! (I am just a wee bit excited!!!) I am also planning to make Jessica a fury red bathrobe out of my old bathrobe to match the Elmo house shoes my mom bought her for Christmas (My mom starts Christmas shopping early's a disease!)....I may make Jessica's doll a bathrobe too.....we'll see. Other than that I am planning to make her a quiet book (because John is getting one and she will want one too) and fill her stocking with fruit and perhaps a Little People item off ebay.

John is getting a set of shakable containers filled with things like rice, bells, beans, colored water, etc. He is also getting some soft blocks, a quiet book, and a homemade outfit. His stocking will be stuffed with foods he is eating at that time.

So far everything is homemade except for the doll, the fruit, and possibly a Little People item. I am estimating the kids Christmas to cost us a total of $20 plus any wood David needs for the baby changing center....hopefully not too much.....we already have the paint, fabric, etc. I'm so excited!!!!!!! I hope I can sleep tonight!!!! Details and pictures to follow!!!!!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

September 11, 2001

A few short hours from now, it will be the 9th anniversary of September 11th. I have been a mother for a little over 2 years, but this is the first year I have thought about September 11th from the perspective of a mother (I don't know just struck me this year for some reason). This year it occurred to me just how very important it is that I teach my children about September 11th.

On September 11, 2001 I was in college and living at home. That particular semester I was taking Elementary Calculus, which was a big review for me since I had taken Calculus in high school. At any rate, I decided to skip class that morning. I was in the shower listening to the radio (I used to like to sing in the shower before I lived in an apartment where the walls were thin as paper!), when an announcement came on about a plane crashing into the World Trade Center. My mom was the only one home at this point, so I yelled down the stairs to tell her what happened. We turned on the TV and watched together as another plane crashed into the Pentagon. Then I had to go to class (because I was not doing well in biology).

The things I remember about that day and the days that followed are the fear for those that were trapped, the sadness for the families that lost loved ones, the tears for all of those hurting, the desire to have those you loved close to you, and the pride in our country and her people. On that day and the days that followed, we put aside trivial matters and focused on the things that mattered most.

The history of the world is blotted with many truly evil deeds: September 11th, Pearl Harbor, the Holocaust,...just to name a few from very recent history. Remembering these events and passing on that remembrance to our children is of up-most importance so that we never forget. You might think it is impossible to forget such dramatic images, but there are those who deny that the holocaust ever happened. When we allow ourselves to forget about the evil in the world, we become oblivious and invite it into our own homes. We must never let our guard down and always stand up for what is right no matter the cost.

You can view some pictures from the Ground Zero Museum at this blog.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I'm Baacckk!!!!

We just got back tonight from our trip to visit family! It was 9 hours up there and 9.5 hours back. The kids did really well! On the way up we stopped twice, and on the way back we stopped 3 times. We had maybe an hour of fussing total each way. Overall not bad for 18.5 hours in a Firebird with 2 small children! This was our first trip with John. Each time we take our first trip with a new baby, I learn new things that work to sooth them. John enjoys traveling first thing in the morning, having a blanket on him, listening to The Lion King, talking to toys with eyeballs, and sleeping with a burp cloth on his face. When Jessica was a baby, she liked traveling when it was light outside, listening to lullabies or ocean sounds, looking at pictures stuck on the backseat, and sucking on different shaped pacifiers. I mentioned earlier that we do not have a dvd player in the car. Yet again, Jessica amazed us with her creativity!!

How she looked for most of the trip up there! John was not crying. She just wanted to wear her earmuffs!

The yo-yo toy makes a great earring!

Yet something else you can do with a slinky...

We took lots of pictures and had a great time!! It was really nice to be able to stay so long. We were actually able to enjoy being there instead of running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to cram everything we want to do in a short period of time! (However, it may take me a week or two to get our house back in order!!) More to come off to my own bed!!!