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Thursday, October 10, 2013

10 years

***Forewarning: this may get a bit graphic for some***

Joe and I hadn't been together long so we definitely weren't expecting to get pregnant. When I started suspecting, I was so worried. For so many reasons. When it was confirmed, it just made me that much more worried. Would I be able to love another baby? Would Joe stay? Did he even want kids? What would my dad think? And so forth. As most moms-to-be do, I started thinking of names, dreaming about what (s)he would look like, seeing my life open up to this new, sweet baby. Joe wasn't altogether thrilled but even he was throwing around name ideas and assuring me that he wasn't going anywhere. We told his parents, who were also less than thrilled, and I started telling family members of my own. My sister, Stormi, was the most receptive of the idea. She was happy for us and started planning things with me.

Fast forward.

10/10/2003

I woke up feeling odd. I contributed it to the onset of morning sickness, finally. Up to this point I hadn't been sick at all. I was always told how different each pregnancy was so I thought maybe I'd gotten lucky this time.

I got up and around, took Mehkaelie to my sisters and went to work. I was checking on tire sizes when I felt the first twinge. Nothing major, in no way excruciating but still..something just didn't feel right. Ligaments stretching, maybe? I kept working until lunch. The twinges were coming more frequently now, to the point it felt like sharp menstrual cramps. I started to understand what was happening. I went home at lunch and laid on the floor with my feet up on the couch and called the doctor. They told me to rest, drink lots of water, and let them know if I developed any more symptoms. I hung up. I had the strongest cramp yet and sat up, holding my belly, praying that I was wrong about what was going on inside my body. I started feeling wet in my panties and started crying before I even made it to the bathroom. I called the doctors office again and tried telling them what was happening. The nurse was trying to calm me down when I felt myself passing clots. The nurse stayed on the phone with me the whole time. Comforting me and explaining what was happening, asking questions and answering mine. When everything seemed to be over but the bleeding she told me to go to the emergency room, that they would be expecting me. When I walked in, they had a room ready and took my info, asked me if they could call anyone, etc. I told them no. They did the exam and ran a few tests and told me what I knew already. I lost my baby.

I still don't know why, maybe it was shock, maybe it was the confirmation, maybe I was putting up barriers to not have to feel it..whatever it was, I just couldn't cry anymore. Everything felt surreal and I didn't like it. They told me I'd need a D&C and helped me understand the procedure and scheduled it for me.

When I was discharged I went to see my sister and Mehkaelie first. I hugged my baby and didn't want to let her go. I went back to work and told them what was going on, why I was so late back to work, and found Joe to tell him. We both took the rest of the day off and just drove around. We didn't talk, we didn't stop anywhere, we just drove.

The crying started up again when we got back home. And didn't stop for a few days.

It's been ten years now and I can still remember that day so clearly. I remember what I was wearing, how my hair was fixed, what Mehkie was wearing and how the air smelled outside. I remember feeling like my heart couldn't be put back together.

I'll never stop hurting over the loss of that pregnancy. I'll never stop wondering what (s)he would have looked like, sounded like, felt in my arms. 

But I learned a lot about myself, about Joe and about us as a couple. I discovered how broken a heart could be and still function. I learned how to breathe properly again. Smile again. Feel again.

Ten years later. Two beautiful kids later. Lots of other changes in life later and I'm still here. Still remembering. Still living and loving. I knew long ago that I would be ok, but today I feel like I've proved it to myself. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

In a Perfect World: Bodies

In a perfect world there would be no need for plus size clothing, because there wouldn't be plus size bodies.
We wouldn't need diet trends, pills, meals or surgeries.
We wouldn't feel shame and embarrassment when going out shopping, dining, or just to the grocery store.
There would ideally be less bullying and less self loathing over body image. (Including those who feel that they are too tall, short, or even too thin.)

Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world and there are all sizes of bodies. This tends to insinuate to some that those with plus size bodies are unhealthy or just down right disgusting or those that are extremely thin are obviously starving or throwing up. We have little people, some as young as 5 years old, already complaining that they look fat or aren't pretty/cute enough because their tummies are bigger than their friends' or they're shorter than everyone else in class. They look at their mommies and see beauty and grace and wonder if it's only mommies that get to be beautiful. They don't see what we see. They don't see that the curves of their little bodies are perfect to us while we don't see that the curves on us are perfect to them.

Make healthy choices. Not just for you, but for your children. Set an example in healthy eating and exercising. But also in knowing that it's absolutely all right to indulge every once in a while. Learn and teach moderation. Learn and teach to love the body that comes along with your healthier choices.

Mommies come in all shapes and sizes, just like children do. I wouldn't teach my children to be judgmental about someone for any reason, but especially not for their outward appearance so why would I teach them that it's OK for me to be unhappy with my own appearance, judging myself because my stomach isn't flat or my hips are too wide or my thighs touch? I want them to know that they are perfectly shaped and put together. I want them to know that when I make them eat their vegetables and pack fruit instead of chocolate in their lunch boxes that it's because I love them and want their bodies to be healthy and strong for many, many years. I want them to love their bodies; no matter how tall or short, fat or thin. I want them to know that as long as they are taking care of their insides, their outsides will be just as beautiful.

Acceptance. Pride. Joy. Understanding. Humbleness. Encouragement. Love.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Hello, again.

Well .. summer break is officially over. The big kids are back at school, somewhat to my dismay. Is it wrong that I loved having little slaves helpers around all the time? I know I'm among just about every mom out there that says (aloud, to many folks' annoyance), "I can't believe they're already in X grade!! WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN!?" But yes, I have said it and will say it again.. I think it's hitting me a little harder this year than the previous years because my oldest is now in a completely different school. That's big time, ya'll. She's even developed a whole new attitude to go with her new school. It's not a bad attitude, it's just more .. grown up. Less "I need my mommy" and more "OMG Mom you're embarrassing me!!" Not that I mind .. much. I've actually been looking forward to this stage in her life since I gave birth to her. My dad used to go around saying things in front of our friends like, "That's boss!" or "Sup, dawg?" and even "Whaazzzuuup?" Yeah. He did. Most everyone loved my dad, though. Young or old, delinquent or honor student.. he was a riot. I want to be that parent for my kids. The one that may slightly embarrass them, but in a way that their friends find amusing. Then, maybe my kids will see that there is no reason to banish me and pretend that they don't know me and instead welcome me into the folds of their confidences and circles of friends. /end daydream Ok, maybe one day she'll want me to drive her to school again. At least for now Cole is still all-about-mom! Yeah!


Friday, June 14, 2013

Attachment Parenting vs Detachment Parenting and what's in between?

It takes a lot to get me worked up when it comes to magazines. Most of the time, I don't even read them. I still receive parenting and cooking magazines in the mail and I do skim through if something catches my eye; But more often than not, it goes into a pile of "maybe I'll read that later-but probably not".

Today I read an article in Parenting magazine titled 'The New Laid-Back Parenting'. Basically, it's an anti-attachment (read: attachment parenting bashing) article that gives reasons and justifications for being a shit parent. I'm sorry, did I say that out loud? (Note: There is a difference in being a "laid back" parent and being laid so far back that you're practically non-existent.)

One thing that caught my attention (in that negative I-would-love-to-punch-you-in-the-throat way) was where they talk about a fellow soccer-mom that ran onto the field to spin her child around after he'd scored a goal and the writer had to "literally put my sunglasses on so she didn't see me roll my eyes". Seriously?! First off, I'm sure this mother didn't do this every time her child scored. Maybe he was having a hellish day. Perhaps he was ten shades of nervous about the game. And you're going to belittle this connection that his mother made with him by spinning him around in front of God and everyone? Wow. How badly do you think your child wished you'd do that, even just one time? He probably craves this kind of affection that he's seeing around him and not receiving. That's what children do. That's what they are. They are little affection sponges. They suck it up, absorb it and come back for more. That is what helps them grow and thrive and feel special.  I'm not saying every child enjoys this, they don't. But the ones that want it the most are the ones that do not receive it. A little mother-child PDA is sometimes just what they need for that incredible ego boost! And keep in mind, before long they won't want anything to do with you. They'll want you to feel free to miss their games so they don't have to groan internally when they score and you shout so loud you break sound barriers. They won't want you hugging them, much less spinning them around, in front of their friends. So come on! Give it to them while they're young and relish these types of things!

Another thing that really chapped my ass was mention of a mother that spent a whole weekend beating her FOUR YEAR OLD at Chutes and Ladders just to teach him to say "good game" instead of becoming upset after losing. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Essentially you just taught your kid that he has to accept being a loser. I'm sorry, that's stupid. S-T-U-P-I-D. I want my children to be upset when they lose. I also want them to understand that it's all right when they do. Yes, of course, I want them to congratulate the winners, keep their heads up and move on with their lives, but I most definitely do not want them to just accept that they are losers. Telling your kid that they aren't allowed to express certain emotions, especially strong emotions like feeling like a failure, is only going to lead them to repress more of their feelings. Why is it so wrong for a child, especially a child as young as four, to be upset about losing? When my kids and I play a game and they lose there will occasionally be tears or pouting and I simply thank them for playing with me and wish them better luck next time. I do not gloat or boast and I sure as hell don't make them play me again just so I can beat them some more. On other occasions they say something like, "good job!" and might ask to play again. Either outcome is fine by me. I do not want them to ever feel like their emotions aren't valid or warranted. I get upset when I lose at something, why shouldn't they? I understand teaching them to be gracious losers, but what about being gracious winners? Letting them win every now and then isn't going to kill you and it will, again, help boost their self-esteem and self-confidence. I would never say, "Ok, we're going to play again and again until you learn to be happy that you lost and congratulate me on my win."

The last thing that really grated on my nerves was the statement, "The icing on the cake, however (and my personal favorite reason not to hover), is: Less parenting means more "you" time. "When you realize you don't have to make every single moment a Learning Moment for your kids, you have time for Enjoyable Moments between grown-ups again." And you have your sanity. And your husband and your wine." This to me just comes across as not only anti-attachment parenting but just downright anti-parenting. When you make the decision to become a parent, it's not something you "sometimes do". It's a FULL TIME commitment. It isn't something you should ever do "less" of, until they are grown up and moved out. And even then you don't stop being a parent just because they aren't under your roof any longer. I know plenty of parents that still have their grown-up time, husband time, wine time, sanity and are wonderful parents all the same. And never do they have to do "less parenting". They simply shift their schedules and become more flexible. I understand that a lot of people feel that bringing a child into their family shouldn't uproot everything, but come on. If you have kids, you know that's just how it goes. "First your money, then your clothes."

All of this being said and my thorough disgust for this article aside - I'm curious. What is between attachment and detachment parenting? I think I fall somewhere in the middle. I don't run to my children's aid every time one of them falls down. I don't coddle them every time they lose at something just as I don't throw a party every time they succeed. My oldest just recently went to a program that the local library conducted all by herself. I didn't even walk her inside. I watched her from the car until she made it into the building, and then I drove off and left her there. It wasn't easy, let me tell you. My instincts are always to stay glued to my kids so that I know they are all right. But hey, she's growing up. She is ready for a little responsibility and freedom from mom. And you know what? That's fine with me. I am not trying to keep her from growing up, but I'm not trying to sprout her into a little adult by the time she hits puberty either. I often let my children play on their own in different areas of the house or in the [fenced in] backyard without having to be right there with them. I love it, in fact. Because yes, I do enjoy having a few minutes to myself where I am not being pulled in nine directions at once. But hey, that's what I signed on for. I know it, I accept it, and damn it.. I love it! My husband and I still spend time together, I don't drink wine but if I did, I'm sure I could find time to squeeze it in if I so desired. And hey, most days I pass as sane and I never have to do "less parenting".

Monday, March 25, 2013

My Memories Suite + **GIVEAWAY**

Well here it is! Giveaway time!!

The wonderful people over at My Memories have allowed me the opportunity to check out their newest suite, My Memories Suite 4, and give it away free to one of you lucky readers! After a few days of playing with it, here are my thoughts..

First Impressions:

  • A bit intimidating if you're not used to using editing software of any kind. While I've been digi-scrapping and siggie making as well as playing around with blog layouts here and there for a few years now, it's all been very basic stuff and all of it has been on Photoshop. That's not to say, obviously, that Photoshop wasn't intimidating at first, too. As with everything, it takes some getting used to.
  • Nice clean layout to work with.
  • Lots of pre-loaded items (papers, elements, etc.)
After Playing:
  • Easy to use and create with
  • A bit frustrating switching between layers when they're on top of each other
  • Wish there was an easier way to edit the material directly (ie an eraser, crop tool, color changer, etc.)
  • Nice that there's an option to save that saves all of the elements used to create the project. No guesswork later.
  • Easy access to printing, creating CD/DVD, going to the My Memories store, etc.
It's definitely worth a whirl if you're looking to create scrap pages or any similar digi image. Here are a couple of things that I've made while playing around this weekend! (Keep in mind that it's been a while since I've scrapped! *wink*)



Pretty cute stuff, huh? 

I haven't had time to peruse all of their tutorials but they have some pretty helpful stuff on there so far as I've found.

So, you want to win the My Memories Suite 4 for yourself? Here's what you need to do:
Follow my blog!
Go check out the My Memories Store and comment to tell me what your favorite kit is! I have several that I am just in love with <3

Also, My Memories also has a Facebook page - "like" them for freebies and fun! (Not required for the drawing, but you really should check them out!)

That's it! That's all you have to do. Not bad, eh?

Also - if you'd like to purchase the software yourself, I can hook you up with $10 off! Just use this code: STMMMS82529
Oh hey, also, once you purchase the MM Suite v4 you get a $10 credit to their online store to get yourself some fun goodies to get you going! Double fudge brownie sundae sweet, right?

Alright, well, leave some comments and let me know that you're in! I'll let you all know who the winner is by Thursday, March 28th!


This was not a paid post. I did however receive the software for free to review. My own honest thoughts and opinions were used in this post and were not influenced by outside entities. ~Tasia D.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

***GIVEAWAY***

Oh my lovely readers I am happy to announce that here in the next week I will be hosting my very first blog giveaway! I am super excited about this and I am really hoping that you all will be, too!

This giveaway is geared toward those of you who like to play around with digital scrapbooking, signature making on message boards, or digital creations similarly i.e. making buttons and blinkies, banners or even desktop backgrounds, etc. It's very versatile ;) It has a retail value of $39.97(USD)!

RULES
You MUST follow my blog. Yes, this may be a shameless plug to get my blog more attention but I'm hoping in the not-so-distant-future that I'll be hosting more and more giveaways and the more people that know, the better they will go. And the funner they will be!

Hmm.. yep. That's it! That's all the rules I have for this giveaway. It is open to all and I hope I get a few of you interested!

I will post more about it later, along with a review of the product.

I'm so excited!! I hope you will join me in this giveaway.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My Lords and Ladies...

This weekend past ... Ok, I can't do it. I'm not even sure what would come next. My medieval speak is far worse than rusty. Crusty with a bit of welded togetherness because of old age, eh.

I've been staring at this page for two days now trying to decide how I want to approach this post. If I go for the detailed version, the majority of you are going to get bored and close out before getting to the good stuff. If I go for a photo-story-line type of thing it would be a crap ton of pictures to scroll through and again, while my kids are gloriously beautiful to me, I know not everyone hangs on every picture and wants to study every contour of their faces and hands like I do.. So, I think I'm just going to throw out some highlights and call it good. Ready?

Drive to Dallas, Texas - Google maps estimated 3h10m
-Kids were actually really awesome for this trip. Haevyn only napped the first half hour after leaving but stayed surprisingly calm the rest of the way. Cole started getting whiny about half way there but it was expected.




Arrived in Dallas - Actual trip took 3h30m roughly, including one pit stop just as we were leaving Oklahoma. We actually arrived 15 minutes early to the hotel and they weren't ready for us yet (that was a bit disappointing) so we went and found something to eat. After getting lost. My husband is the worst travel companion. He lets his nerves get the best of him and gets very snappy very easily. He decided instead of following the directions the lady at the front desk of the hotel gave me to find food, we'd just go "this way". "Whatever you want, love" being my response. Then we get lost and I have to navigate us back to the hotel and start again (with the help of GPS). We eat at an IHop of all places, but I haven't been to one since I was pregnant with Mehkaelie so I was game. It was right next to the hotel, too, so there was very little chance of us getting lost on the way back.

Back to the hotel - check into our suite and explore it. The kids think it's the coolest place in the world, Joe is finding it pretty cool as he's never stayed in a suite before and I'm just wanting to sit down and put my head down on something soft. I've been sick for three days at this point with fevers, headaches and a sore throat so bad it felt like I was not only swallowing glass but having it shoved down my ear holes as well. My fever broke that morning but the rest of the symptoms were still very much around.

Dinner at Red Lobster - Just .. YUM! I love this restaurant but they were especially on par this evening. Cole developed some tummy troubles half way through though and was having quite an unpleasant time until he farted so hard and loud that he actually visibly sighed and relaxed. It sounded like a freaking fog horn. It was horrible, but he felt so much better, so all was right in the world again.

Back to the room - We discovered that not only was the outdoor pool open already (in mid-March!) but they did in fact have an indoor pool. I hadn't thought to mention to the kids to pack swimsuits so they were pretty bummed about not getting to go swimming. Once back in the room we hung out until bedtime and everyone chose their place and got settled in.

We checked out - Pretty early the next day we were getting hungry so we decided to head out to breakfast and just go ahead and check out then. After eating at IHop again (still yet, breakfast was amazing - stuffed french toast, yum!) we headed out the the Fort Worth Water Gardens; A place I had found doing a search for "Free things to do in Dallas, Texas with kids". It looked like it would be a lot of fun and it did not disappoint. The only thing that wasn't as grand as expected was that the coolest pool of all wasn't flowing at the time. Closed for maintenance. There also were no ramps, everything was stairs. That was no fun with a stroller, but we managed.

Medieval Times - We headed back to Dallas and made it to Medieval Times, the whole reason for coming to Dallas in the first place. When we got there (15 minutes after the doors opened) the place was already packed. The lines were wrapped around the building already. This wasn't too terribly awful except that we all needed a bathroom break at this point!
-Once in we were amazed at how many people were packing into this building [er, Castle]. There were giftshops all over the place and Cole and Mehkaelie both chose their souvenirs. I somehow forgot to get Haevyn anything. Oops, bad mom! I chalk it up to being ill, crowded and overwhelmed all at once!
-Since we purchased the upgraded King's package we got through our lines pretty quickly as well as getting to have our picture taken with the Hawk Trainer and his gorgeous bird. Sadly, the picture of me is crazy bad and Haevyn looks terrified, like she's trying to get out of there as fast as she can, my husband kept his hat on so he has a paper crown sitting on top of his hat .. the only two that look decent in the photo are the big kids.
-The food was subpar in my opinion, but I'm not much of a meat eater. Especially when it has bones in it. Our serving wench, Cara, was entertaining enough, I suppose. But she really didn't give us the vibe that she wanted to be there. The feast included "dragon parts". A piece of garlic toast, "dragon scale" that went with an extremely salty tomato soup, "dragon blood soup" (Cole thought they called it dragon BUTT soup and wouldn't touch the stuff! HAH!). Next they served a whole roasted chicken, I cannot recall what part of the dragon this was, and a bbq spare rib, "dragon toe" with herb roasted potato wedges, "dragon talons" (these were DELICIOUS). For dessert we were served an apple turnover, "dragon droppings" that was also quite yummy. We were given the choice between two beverages, Pepsi and unsweetened tea, and given one refill throughout the meal. All in all it wasn't awful, I've had worse, but when we go back in the future, it won't be for the food.


-The show was incredible. The knights were a lot of fun to watch and while the acting was of course cheesy at times, it was also spot on for children of all ages to enjoy.
-Our knight was the Red and Yellow knight. We cheered him on as loudly as possible and I'm pretty sure he was the most enjoyable knight out of all of them. He wasn't however the winner of the tournament which was a bummer. But, it was a lot of fun nevertheless.

The ride home - was a bit harder on everyone. No one wanted to be in the car and while the big kids did great at not whining, Haevyn did not. She wanted out of the car half way through and by the time we were about half an hour from home she was full blown screaming about it. So, of course, I sat in the back and popped a boob into her mouth for the rest of the ride home.

All in all it was an enjoyable trip! I wish I hadn't been sick throughout it but what can ya do? The kids really enjoyed themselves and that was the point of the adventure. I am very happy with how our first family trip went and I am looking forward to many, many more! This time I think I'm going to preplan a little better, though so that we're not bumbling around at the last minute trying to figure out where to eat and where to go to kill time, etc. Hmm where to go next year.... We're all about that Crazy, Beautiful Chaos that is family vacations, after all! *wink*

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Little Letters

Dear Haevyn,
I am so sorry you are feeling so icky :( If I could take it all away from you, I would.. in a heart beat.

Dear Mehkaelie,
You are ten, dear. Not 13, certainly not 16 and you most definitely are not an adult yet. Please keep that in mind. I love you and I was once a "pre-teen" who thought that meant I was always right and could say anything I wanted to anyone I wanted anytime I wanted to, but I, like you will sooner or later, found out I was wrong. Please enjoy being 10. It's an amazing age and you are such a beautiful, sweet and kind ten year old. Don't try growing up too fast!

Dear Cole,
I have got to get you into some sort of drama class, soon. Maybe creative writing or something would help you to express all of those emotions you have pouring out of you every moment of every day.. I love you, son. I just know you are going to do great things in life.. in the loudest and most dramatic ways possible, I'm sure.

Dear Joe,
It is almost our 5 year wedding anniversary. That means we've been together ten years already and I find that amazing. Even when I want to throttle you, I know I'd miss you too much if you were gone. I love you.

Dear weight,
If the oatmeal cream pies and donut sticks don't persuade you to drop in my favor, I will understand. It's just been one of those weeks already.

Dear Texas,
We're coming for you!!! You have a family of five headed your way in a few short days and we cannot wait! We are going to rock you, but I promise we will leave no lasting damage.

XOXO--Me

Monday, March 11, 2013

Spring break, home school and other things

Spring Break is upon us, my friends! Only one week of school left until the fun begins!

We have been discussing family vacations for a while now since the big kids are old enough to really enjoy and even remember them. Financially speaking, one a year is probably all we will be able to do, which is fine. "One is better than none" as the saying goes.

Originally, I was hoping to do Six Flags over Texas...but I was outvoted by the rest of the family. Instead, we will be going to Medieval Times in Dallas! I'm perfectly happy with this as it seems like a blast. Plus, we've decided we'd just try and do some sort of amusement park here in state over the summer instead, all things allowing.

Weather-wise it's supposed to be gorgeous while we're in Texas so I'm hoping to get some outdoorsy time and some fun pics of the kids! Speaking of weather, Haevyn has been battling some nasty pollen allergies and as such is on Zyrtec. She hates taking her medicine!! I hate it for her :( I'm hoping this won't hold us back from doing things while we're in Texas. But, we rented a pretty nice suite so if we do have to stay in at least we'll have fun doing that, too.

Cole and I are both still thoroughly enjoying homeschooling. After more research I'm finding that I've been doing more "school at home" than "home school" or even "unschooling" as some people do. I really like the idea of unschooling, but I'm terrified that it will cause Cole to become completely behind and unfocused on anything other than whatever tickles his fancy that day. While I don't begrudge anyone else this method and have read several stories marveling at the benefits and praising the children who grew up to excel, I feel that Cole does better with a curriculum of sorts. We ourselves are definitely not following any particular curriculum at this time. In fact, I put together little weekly packets for us to work on throughout the week myself and that seems to be working out pretty great so far.
He's wanting to stay homeschooled. As we are enjoying it and I am finding that he's doing incredibly well learning-wise as well as behavior-wise I don't have a problem with it for now. However, in a few years when Haevyn is able to go to school I was hoping to go back to work. Having a second income coming into the house would definitely not be a bad thing. Especially with as many unexpected expenses that pop up with a family of five. I also would like him to go back to school once middle school begins so that he can get a full experience of extracurricular activities that the schools offer. We have several sports to choose from (including swimming, which we never had when I was growing up in schools!) as well as various activities for the arts. I don't want him to miss out on any of that and there are just some things I cannot teach him or pay for private lessons for him to learn. Well, we'll see what happens.. We have a few more years to figure things out for sure.

I really, really want to get a dog. Here's the rub.. no one in this family can agree on what kind of dog we want! I'd be perfectly happy getting a pound puppy while my husband wants to invest in a certain breed of dog. Not for any more reason, though, than just how they look and to say he has one. My kids can't decide if they want a big or small dog while I'm full and clear on the big dog side. I'd prefer a big dog. I grew up with big dogs and to be honest, little dogs kind of annoy me. Especially the yappy ones. I don't mind the smaller dogs that are fairly calm and well suited to a family with children and all but security wise and comfort wise, I just want a big dog. Again, we'll have to see what happens and who wins out there. Although, really, I think I should get the final say as I'll be the one taking care of the new addition. We know that's going to happen!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Haevyn's First Birthday!

(The Banner)
 (The Cake)
 (Nana Becky and Daddy)
 (Bubba and his dog, Mark)
 (Cousin Faith getting snuggles)
 (The girls shoved the cupcake in her face!)
 (Trying to get the icing off of her tongue.)
 (Papa George, Mommy and the birthday girl trying to figure out how the blowy thing works.)
 (Papa George and Haevyn)
 (Papa George, Mommy and an eager birthday girl)
 (The papas, in their own little world)
(Sisters. "Which present should I open first?")

Friday, March 1, 2013

Time flies!

Well as per usual, life has gotten away from us again. We had some flu bugs fly through the house a few times, my son went through another battle with his epilepsy resulting in him going back on his meds, and my oldest daughter has been having one chaotic time with her choir being able to find a time when they can have their concert. Every time they've planned it, we've ended up getting some sort of crazy weather blow in that day to prevent it from happening! Which brings me to that. The weather. What.The.Hell?! Who sent Mother Nature to an amusement park? Seriously! We're having some crazy whiplash weather lately. Warm and Spring like to thunderstorms to blizzards.. It gets worse and worse every year. I don't know about you guys, but I'm definitely ready for warmer (consistent) weather!

I've been doing exceptionally well on my 365 so far this year. I haven't missed a single day! I haven't even "cheated" and not posted every day! Sometimes I get to the last few minutes of the day, but I do indeed post one picture per day. Go me! I'm considering uploading them to a Flickr account or Photobucket or something. I'm not sure yet, though. I may just keep them on Facebook since it's just so easy!

My sweet baby girl is going to turn a year old tomorrow. I know every parent says it, but I really cannot believe it has been a year already. I can still vividly remember touching that sweet, tiny baby in my arms .. kissing those squishy little cheeks and thighs and watching her learn all of us one by one. Man oh man ..

My family has decided to start taking yearly vacations. No matter how small. Just doing something at least once a year together as a family. The big kids are old enough now to really appreciate it so I'm really looking forward to it. We've decided this year to do Medieval Times in Texas!! We wanted to do Six Flags and Medieval Times but for $1500+, that's just not going to happen without better planning! Instead, we're going to take the kids to an amusement park here in Oklahoma this summer and do Medieval Times for Spring break! We are also wanting to take the kids to Alabaster Caverns, Boiling Springs and Glass Mountain this year. It'll be a busy year if we manage to get everything squeezed in there. I'm looking forward to it!!

Well here's to a spectacular March for everyone! 3rd month of 2013 (already!)!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Step 2 - Homeschool

It will come as no surprise to those of my friends that follow my Facebook account that I have decided to become a homeschooling momma. Actually, it surprised several of my friends that I sent my kids to public school in the first place! I admit, I've always romanticized homeschooling.. Having all of my littles with me all of the time. Never having to worry about their safety or well-being away from me. (As any mother knows, near you or not you will always worry .. it's just easier to stomach when they're with you!) Being the one to teach them their "3 R's" (reading, 'riting, 'rithmatic), doing their experiments with them and heaping so much love and encouragement on them that they would be sure to grow up brilliant, caring, wonderful people.

So.. what changed my mind? Money. Back when it was just Joe, Mehkaelie and I there was very little money between the three of us. After an unexpected pregnancy and sudden, heartbreaking miscarriage, I quit the job I was working at and wanted nothing more than to stay home and snuggle my first born. I couldn't function without having her near me. (Ahem, co-dependent schmo-dependent.) After my emotional wounds began to heal I had decided to begin looking for work again.. but there was a problem. I couldn't stomach the thought of being away from my girl. I had only been working just over 3 months and I hated it. No, more than that, I loathed it. With ever fiber of my being. Yes, the check was nice. Yes, the socializing was great. But not being with my baby felt completely unnatural. Luckily, the job market sucked anyway. There was no one hiring at the time and Joe and I had began discussing my becoming a stay-at-home mom. Yahtzee! A year later we got pregnant again (this time on purpose) and after calculating the costs of a new baby plus the toddler we already had on top of daycare, gas and other miscellaneous expenses, we decided that it just made more sense if I stayed home for the time being. Money was tight, sometimes too tight.. like, "why are you wearing those pants that are clearly for someone 20 years younger and 100 pounds lighter than you?" tight. But we knew my going to work and essentially handing the checks over to daycare wasn't going to make things any easier. Thus began our budgeting. Neither of us knew how to budget to save our lives so this was a trial and error mess all over the place. I'm happy to report however, that we did eventually figure it out.

Once we were sure we didn't want anymore children we began discussing my going back to work after both kids were in school full time. The thoughts of having enough money to take yearly vacations and spoil my children rotten danced in my head and shoved aside the thoughts of homeschooling for the time being. We enrolled Mehkaelie in Kindergarten the year she turned 5 and while I missed her terribly (I cried quite a bit in the beginning, she loved going to school) she really seemed to thrive. She loved socializing with kids her age, she LOVED learning, and really, it felt nice to spend some time with my little man, just the two of us. A few years later it was time to enroll him in school as well. Kindergarten was only half a day still at this point so we knew I wouldn't be working just yet, so I tried to enjoy my days home alone while the kids were in school, waiting for the time when I could go pick Cole up and have someone to play with again. I don't know how some parents do it. I can't stand being home all day when no one else is here. It drives me mental. Cole didn't start out as well as Mehkaelie had. He was having anxiety issues from the get-go. He'd have much rather just stay with me. I spoke with his teacher numerous times, and once it became routine, he really did start to enjoy it as well.

Then first grade happened. The very beginning of first grade Cole fell while outside and banged his head on the concrete at school. He hit it so hard and at just the wrong angle that he fractured his skull. Aside from the obvious physical trauma, this left him with loads of emotional trauma and anxiety you wouldn't believe. I walked him to and from class for the first few months of school, I became really close with his teacher because of this, and she assured me over and over that she was looking out for him during school hours. He had a hard time focusing and the smallest things would set him off. I wanted to take him out of school right then but honestly, I didn't know if I was allowed to and while dealing with everything, I found it hard to concentrate long enough to find out. This was also the time we found out we were unexpectedly pregnant again. Hormone city.

By the time first grade ended it was a constant fight to get Cole up and around in the mornings and to get him to school. He missed the bus several times because he flat out refused to go to school. I would get myself so worked up over it I'd get sick. I didn't know what else to do. We had Haevyn at the beginning of 2012 and since I knew I wasn't going to be going back to work for at least another five years, I started talking to Joe about homeschool. This is when I started looking up info and trying to decide what to do. Cole survived first grade, though just barely as he'd tell it. Once second grade started up Joe and I talked with him very seriously about the options he had. Homeschool or public school. Once he found out he wouldn't get to see his friends every day or go to Art or Music class he opted for public school. Oops. About a month or so into the year he began having anxiety spells every time he'd fall or bump into something. They started getting so bad it was like first grade all over again. Mornings were absolute HELL again. I told him if he could make it to Christmas break we'd reassess the arrangement and possibly begin homeschooling for the new semester. He made it. And again, while at school when everything was going fine, he loved it. He loves his friends, he loves the Art and Music classes they have and he loves his teachers. But even all of that wasn't enough to make him want to stay any longer. He took another tumble just this week and decided on the spot that that was that. He has had enough. He wants to stay home where he feels safe and where he knows I'm right there with him if something happens.

So, these falls..what's that about? We don't know yet. We have a doctors appointment set up tomorrow and I'm going to take a boat load of questions with me. We'll figure it out, I'm sure. I think it's something to do with his epilepsy. We'll see.

Tomorrow is his last day of public school and on Monday we will start anew with homeschooling. I'm excited/nervous about the situation. Mehkaelie is a tad jealous since she's seen some of the lesson plans I've started to draw up. She thinks Cole's going to learn more than her and become smarter than her and she doesn't like that one little bit. She is also annoyed that his lessons will be more fun than hers. She does exceptionally well in public school, though and doesn't have any serious desire to be homeschooled. Cole is climb-the-walls-excited about it. I love seeing him so fired up for learning. I know it's because it's new and he gets to stay home with momma, but, I like to also believe it's because he's looking forward to learning at his own pace and desires.

We'll see how long this lasts. Our main objective right now is just to make sure Cole is taken care of not just academically and physically but emotionally as well. Poor kid is about as stable as a train wreck emotionally. I think this will definitely be a step in the right direction for him. I feel very confident about this move in his education and I'm positive he feels the same. I'm definitely going to need loads of encouragement myself and pointers are always welcome!

Whew. I haven't written this much in a while! It felt good, though. Thanks for reading if you made it this far!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Bloody Annoyed

I've mentioned it before, it's not newsworthy, really. Just some rambling "back story" before I get to my actual point which is another two paragraphs down, roughly. I'm against corporal punishment. Although like I said, I've mentioned this before, I'm not sure I've qualified that while I'm against it personally, I don't instantly think people are going to hell for having spanked their kid/s. Nor do I instantly write them off as a child abuser or anything like that. Usually, I just sigh and resign myself to remembering that they are not my children and therefore not my responsibility. I don't know what's going on in their house and how the child's behavior may be so I shouldn't stick my nose there. That said, I do still feel strongly that physical punishment only adds problems rather than "fix" them.

Growing up, (I think I've mentioned this before, too) my dad was the spank-'em-and-be-done-with-it type of parent. We weren't even aware of what "grounding" was until we were old enough to have friends that got grounded. Dad would just whoop our butts and expect us to fly right from there on. No rinse and repeat needed, no personal effects removed from our possessions, etc. Just a good-old-fashioned-welt-raising-ass-busting-and-done. This has left very little for me to go on, punishment wise, as a parent myself. I knew I didn't want to spank, having gone through it myself, and honestly, I always kind of thought groundings were silly. What kid can't do without going to friends' houses or a video game for a few days?

When my kids were toddlers a simple "mom glare" or perhaps a time out from time to time was enough to do the trick. Now they're getting older and having them stand in the corner for 10 minutes is nothing short of laughable. So, we've delved into the world of groundings and taking things away. I have to say, it's not as silly as I'd originally thought. In fact, for Cole, who's still only 7, it actually works quite well. For my oldest, however, who's 10, it seems like a waste of time. Sure, it bothers her for the first few hours, maybe even the first day, but beyond that? Nothing. It's commonplace by then. A week or two goes by (or however long the punishment was for) and it's not really a big deal anymore at all. In fact, by the time she gets said objects back it's sort of like giving her a gift on her birthday. She's excited to have it and play with it again but it still doesn't affect her to the point that she has any strong feelings about having to give it up.

I've always been a talk-it-to-death type of person. Ask my husband, it drives him crazy. Even with my kids, though, I am very "let's go over it again". Some things I know better than to push like this but more often than not I feel like I can't move on and they can't move on if we all don't understand what happened. This probably isn't true for them; In fact, it doesn't seem to be the case for most people.. I just have a nagging obsession with NEEDING to understand what the hell happened. Especially when one of my children does wrong. I want to know why they did it, what got them to that point and why, instead of deciding against the wrong behavior didn't they choose the right behavior. Yes, I know, kids are kids. We learn by doing and that means by making mistakes. As they say at the kids' school, "If you can't make mistakes, you can't make anything." I fully believe that. Really, I do. But to me that means you make the mistake once, maybe twice, and that's it. No strike three. You should know better. The consequences aren't going to change just because you're on your third offence.

Anyway .. back to the point of this post. We're heading into the pre-teen then teen years and I'm terrified already. I thought it was going to be fun. (Stop laughing.) I still think it will be, but I don't want to be one of those parents that end up losing control of my kid and then looking back going what happened?! Where did I go wrong? How did it get to this point?

I really do have amazing kids. Even Mehkaelie. Even though she's pushing every button she can find and even trying to unlock the hidden ones, she's phenomenal. Just amazing. I just hope her recent behavior isn't a sign of things to come or she won't ever get to set foot outside the house until her 18th birthday.

As my dad would say now.. Ah, the joys of parenting.
That or .. She's just like you.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Another new year, plus a week..

It's already a week into 2013. Can you believe that?! Talk about time flying....

Well 2012 wasn't a total bust, but it wasn't a year I'm in a hurry to repeat either. The single amazing thing about it was my daughter, Haevyn, being born. The rest of it pretty much blew harder than a toothless hooker. Sorry, but that's just fact folks.

This year will be different. How do I know? Well, for one, I forbid anyone I'm close with to die this year. So, there. Nextly, I will maintain my weight loss as well as get my family on board to make them healthier thems. Theys? People. I'm also going to start doing something for ME. Whether it's just taking an hour a week to myself to read a book, soak in the tub, relax in the shower, make crafty funness, whatever. I'm not going to allow myself to be put on the back burner this year. "If momma ain't happy, ain't no one happy!" didn't get to be a popular saying for no reason! And I'd like a happy family, thank you very much.

I don't have a lot of time for blogging this very moment but I am going to try and keep up on this as much as possible as well. I sincerely love blogging and reading my friends' blogs. Now that I have a fancy new Kindle Fire to tote around with me, it may help to make that easier to do!

Have a happy year my friends! We all deserve it.