Welcome!

Come take a trip with me on my wild ride as the mother of 3 sweet "babies".

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hustle and Bustle!!

Dear Shannon,

   Can you turn back your "Countdown to Christmas" snowman in your front yard a week or so?  It's telling me I only have a few short days until Christmas!  That just can't possibly be true.

Sincerely,
Your Friendly (but Frazzled) Neighbor

There is SO much still to be done.  And we don't have until Christmas to do it.  We're celebrating with my side of the fam on Thursday.  I need to wrap presents, pick up a couple of more things, and make (yes I said "make") two more gifts, along with a list of other "little" things that must get done in time including cooking for the big day.  It all adds up, and I'm running out of time!  I suppose I should stop blogging and just do it, but procrastination is kinda my thing.  Wouldn't want to change who I am!

Mommy Brain

I realize it's been a month since my last post - yikes!  This is almost entirely due to MOMMY BRAIN. 

It's real.  Look it up. 

Because of Mommy Brain, I have been unable to sustain a thought long enough for it to appear on my blog.  I do have thoughts - thoughts worth sharing. By the time I'm near a computer, however, the thought is forever lost in... Mommy Brain.

Please pray for my blight.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving

I am thankful for many things in my life: my kids, my husband, my home, my job, my friends, my health and my family's health... the list goes on.  I am truly blessed.

This year, I get to host the Thanksgiving feast for my side of the family. 9 adults and 8 kids, I might add. I'm not great at coordinating a big meal, so I'm grateful that I have family members who pitch in and bring dishes of their own.  We are opting out of the big turkey meal because of timing.  Instead, we are having a Thanksgiving breakfast followed by pork loin chili and sandwiches for lunch.  I know - weird, huh?  Although we may be going a little non-traditional this year, some of the usual suspects will be present: Jerry is making a sweet potato dish that is yum-my and Jana is making her famous Heath bar pie.  And just to make the whole event more festive, we have some pumpkin spice creamer for the coffee.

And mimosas.  We'll have mimosas.

All right - I suppose I should get back to cleaning the house.  Up today?  Washing the china, mopping the kitchen floor, and cleaning the bathrooms.  Joy! (where's the sarcasm font when you need it?)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Body Image

Thanks for the responses on my blog yesterday, here and on Facebook.  You know the worst part about that comment I received?  I have now looked at my forearms in the mirror in the past week more times than I have ever looked at them.  Why did I let that get to me at all?  It's my forearms, for goodness sake. 

As parents, we all have this responsibility to our children to love our own bodies.  We can work on being healthy, of course, and talk about exercising and eating right for our health.  But what we CANNOT do is OBSESS over it, and especially not obsess over our weight, body shape, imperfections, etc.  They hear that, and they file it away.  Even when they are 2 years old, they are developing an idea of what is right and who they are.  They want to be just like us, and if we stand on the scale, and curse that extra donut right before we go workout for an hour - well, that sends the wrong message.  Those are the moments that lead kids on a dangerous path toward eating disorders and a poor self image. 

Let's remember to focus on letting our kids hear us say, "Wow, I feel really energized after that bike ride!" or "This meal is going to make me strong."  Let's focus on the positive, and stop stepping on the scale with our kids in the room.  Better yet - throw it out the window.  Wait... not sure I can do that.  Maybe I can hide it in the closet.  OK, well I clearly still have some demons to get rid of myself. 

With 3 kids who still think the world of their Mommy (the oldest is only 4), I'm going to work on not talking about what I dislike about myself at all.  Instead, when I feel like saying something that will tear myself down, I'm just going to tell them that I love them.  That'll shut me up!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I'm 32 and a Half!

I used to say that I would NEVER be one of those women who was ashamed of her age.  I'm still not, but I'm starting to see why some women are. 

I have always had a fairly healthy body image.  Granted, I have had those feelings time to time when I've been unhappy with a particular body part. When I was in high school, it was my nose.  In college, it was my upper arms.  When I was pregnant, it was my ankles (or rather, LACK of ankles).  After I had my kids, it was my tummy and my chest (but that's a small price to pay).  Overall, nothing terrible.  I either work to correct the problem, or just live with it and understand that it's just a part of who I am.

Last week, however, someone guessed my age.  He wasn't off by much.  He guessed I was 34, and I'm actually 32.  I wasn't offended by that comment at all.  I was taken aback when he decided to explain WHY he thought I was in my mid thirties.  He said my forearms gave me away.  My FOREARMS?  He said my skin didn't sag like if I was in my 40s, but it's just... there.  WHAT?!  At first I was just a little offended that he would even suggest such a thing about my body.  But there's this little part in my brain that made me feel self-conscious about it.  Here I was going around day by day and not even realizing that I have OLD FOREARMS.  Yikes!

Well, I do know that this guy may be a little crazy, because I think my forearms are just fine, but that comment will be filed away in my brain next to the comment from a lady at Kay's Jewelry over 15 years ago who shouted at me "Wow! Your ears are TINY!"

By the way, I think my ears are FABULOUS!

Friday, November 5, 2010

It's Expo Weekend!

I haven't been posting much lately because my work schedule has been busy, and in the evenings, I've been working really hard to get Bellaney Babycakes ready for public release!  I have two booth events this weekend, one next weekend, and possibly another the week after that.  So, that's been my concentration.  So much to do, so little time - as always.  I'll blog about Halloween after I'm over the craziness that is this weekend. :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Busiest... October... EVER!

I have been running a race and losing for a few weeks now.  My house looks awful - Daily 7?  I think not.  I am only stopping to post, because I think it's my therapy!  Here's what I've been up to since my last post...

October 5th was our 8th wedding anniversary.  We didn't get to celebrate that night because I had to work.  I've been doing 2 home visits a night on every night that Jerry doesn't have to be at a football or soccer game.  We DID get to celebrate that weekend by going out to dinner (Olive Garden - took advantage of the fact that we could go out for "messy" food since the kids were with Ooma and Oompa), then to Barnes and Noble to just browse for books (when was the last time we had time to do THAT?), and lastly for dessert at a little place called Amore, where we played Battleship (my victory), and Sorry (my loss). 

I worked hard and put my finishing touches on my Baby Sing and Sign lesson, and taught my first class that same weekend.  I think it was a success, and I can't wait to teach the second class next month to see if any of the families have any great baby signing stories to share!

Last weekend I had a 3 day garage sale which I have been preparing for for months.  I'm so glad that's over and done with.  I got rid of some stuff I don't need anymore, and made some money during the process - always a good thing!  The kids even earned some money by giving some of their toys to the sale, so they got to pick out new toys.  Good lesson for them, and again - more junk out of our house! 

Along with the garage sale on Saturday, the kids and I were in a little fashion show at the "Great Mall" for Shop Baby Kisses - my favorite little boutique for all that is girly.  The girls both wore tutus and little popcorn shirts.  Adorable!  Luke wore some stylin' baseball-themed BabyLegs, and I wore him in an Ergo carrier.  Super fun!

Now, in the midst of all that is Halloween, I am trying to start my business, Bellaney Babycakes.  It's time-consuming, but lots of fun!  I finally got my website together, and now I need to work on my portfolio to take to the two expos I have coming up in two weeks.  Then I need to make a diaper cake or two to show, as well.  Busy mama here! 

Add in a La La's concert, preschool and preschool parties, work meetings, playgroups for work, playdates for fun, 2 doctors appointments, Halloween pictures, Trick or treating, a Halloween parade, and conferences (both for Jerry and for the girls), and you get a PACKED month!

I can't believe that Halloween is only a week away, and I have not put out ANY decorations.  This is so un-like me.  I LOVE Halloween.  I'm just not motivated to put out decor in a house that needs to be cleaned so badly.  Hmm... maybe I should stop writing and get on that.  But first... I'm in need of an ice cream break!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bellaney Babycakes!

I'm so excited!  I've been working toward this for a while, but I think I'm ready to take this "public".  I've made a few diaper cakes for my friends and sisters-in-law, and now I'm going to try my hand at making this a bit of a business! 

I will post more specifics later, but for right now, I want to post a pic of the diaper cake that I'm MOST excited about.  Up until now, all of my diaper cakes have been made from disposable diapers.  As many of you know, I'm a cloth-diapering mama, so I wanted to make an option for other mama's that put their babies in cloth. 

Here's what I came up with:


This cake is made from 6 Bum Genius 4.0 one size diapers.




As with my disposable diaper cakes, my cloth diaper cakes use only the best ingredients!! 
Bum Genius is a top-of-the-line premium diaper!

The cloth diaper cakes cost more than the disposable ones, however, if you buy a cloth diaper cake, you are providing that lucky mom with a HUGE savings in starting their stash!  She will appreciate it, I promise you!

Keep in mind when looking at these pics, this cake was made with used diapers (my son's), and I will, of course, be using new ones with the cakes that I make to sell.  This was just my practice run.  :)

This is just a 6 diaper cake, however you can really help the new mom by doubling that to 12 and I will make a 2-tier cake. Customers can pick the colors shown here, or the new, fabulous prints shown there.
Expect new pics to come, and I may just start a new blog specifically for this purpose.  Stay tuned!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall

Ahhh... my favorite time of the year:

FALL

crisp morning air... changing leaves... wearing jeans... high school and college football games (yes, I said it)... the smell of burning leaves... Halloween... sweatshirts... leaf piles... our anniversary... Thanksgiving... bonfires... pumpkin pie... Christmas shopping... apple picking... snuggling on the couch... new fall line-up on TV... migrating geese... migrating butterflies... chili... jack-o-lanterns... costumes... Daylight Savings... fire in the fire place... crock pot cooking... morning fog...  pumpkins... decorating... burning candles... opening the windows... going for walks... holiday parties...

The list goes on...

What do you like about fall?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Invisible Woman: Part 2



Thank you to my SIL, Nicki for reminding me of this video.  It's an uplifting message about invisibility.

8 Friends

I love this article from Prevention Magazine online.











I agree with this list MOSTLY, although I don't think that #5 necessarily has to be YOUNGER - maybe just at a different point in their life.  Also, I'm going to add one:

9. Your Spouse! 

I don't think you can have a successful marriage if your spouse is not one of your very best friends.  Now, maybe this friend wasn't included because not "every woman" is married, however, if they included #6, I think #9 deserves a spot as well. 

I'm glad to say that I have every one of these friends (some of whom are more than one to me), although maybe my workout friends need to step it up a bit! 

*Okay, well I need to add another friend to the list (thanks Chala!)

10: The Specialist Friend

These are the friends that are experts in something that you want to know more about.  You can go to them anytime with questions, and they are more than happy to help you out, or lend a helpful ear when you are working on it for yourself.  Yay for the specialists!

 

The Invisible Woman

Do you ever feel invisible?

i do

There are times, when I swear that the world must just not see me.  Those are the days when:


  • I get cut off in traffic.

  • I give a friendly wave or smile to a stranger, and they ignore me.

  • I say "Excuse me" to get by someone in a crowded place, and they just stand there.

  • I stand at a store's counter to ask for some help or check out, but no one comes.

  • Someone butts in front of me in line.

  • I drop something while my hands are full, and no one helps me or even offers to help pick it up.

  • I have finished my meal, my kids are restless, and I'm STILL waiting on my check from the waitress.

  • I have my hands full with a bag, a baby, holding onto a toddler, and trying to keep my preschooler in tow, and a man with nothing in his hands walks right through the door that I was really hoping he would help me with. (Surely he didn't see me, right? No one is that much of a jerk, right?)
The funny thing is, these all seem to happen on the same day.  So, I wonder, are there certain days when I'm actually invisible?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Time in a Bottle?

TIME

There is just not enough.  Not enough time to cherish every moment.  Not enough time to get everything done that you want to.  Not enough time to get everything done that you HAVE to. 

This is what I want for Christmas this year.... TIME.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

You're My Partner!

Today is my hubby's birthday.  It was shortly before his birthday 13 years ago when we met. 

K-State Homecoming 1997

My sorority (Kappa Alpha Theta) and his fraternity (Delta Sigma Phi) were homecoming partners - along with another fraternity whose name I cannot recall! Yikes!  We did an event back then during homecoming called "body building".  No, we did not lift weights.  We actually built with bodies!  It was basically a cheerleading / dance routine.  When I was a freshman at K-State, I did not get to pick my stunt partner, and was not all that happy with my pairing.  So, when I was a sophomore, I wanted a choice!  I quickly scanned the line-up of "Greek" men to find the best looking guy who looked strong enough to actually lift a girl off the ground easily.  My eyes rested on a handsome junior - Jerry. 

I quickly ran over to him and said "You're my partner!" 

If only I had known how true those words were!  We did not date right away because I was already dating someone else.  Jerry fell into the friend category for a year and a half.  Then, on a beautiful day (when I just-so happened to be single), I ran into Jerry on campus between classes.  I asked if he'd like to go out Saturday night.  He said yes, and asked if I had any plans Friday as well.  I did have plans - to watch a chick-flick with my Theta sisters, but he could join us if he wanted - and he did! 

I'm sure I will blog about our first date another time, but for now - this is the story of how we met, and how the romance began. 

13 years and 3 kids later, he's still my partner.

I love you, Jerry!  Happy birthday!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Family Day!

We had a wonderful, fun-filled family day today!  We all went to Bella's gymnastics class in the morning, and then we went to My Gym's open house.  All the kids had a blast - even Luke!  After all that gym play, we were super-hungry, so we hit up the buffet at Cici's.  I had 3 cinnamon rolls - and I do NOT feel guilty.  They are too good to feel bad about! 

At home, I spent the afternoon doing laundry and sorting clothes for our upcoming garage sale while Jerry and the kids watched the Huskers. Sadly, we got home too late for the K-State game.   

Jerry mowed the forest... err... lawn, and then we all played outside after dinner.  Bella decided to get out the bat and ball and play with Jerry.  She surprised us by hitting the ball no less than 4 times!  Didn't know we had such a little softball player on our hands!  Hmmm...  Jerry was super excited and then proceeded to teach her to throw, as well, and then they moved on to soccer.  I think his favorite part of being a dad is finally starting.  He's been waiting for this moment for 4 1/2 years!

Late to bed tonight, but totally worth it after a great day.  The kids sacked out FAST.  I may even go to bed early myself. *gasp!*

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Just Call me Mrs. Cleaver - or Not

Not feeling entirely motivated today, but there is SO much to do.  I'm completely behind on laundry, need to do some more dishes (always), the living room is littered with clothes and toys (the clothes are my fault - getting ready for a garage sale), and I need to get out my Baby Sing and Sign info and make sure I'm ready for my first class that I'm teaching in a few weeks. 


BUT... I did get some work done at the office today that needed to be done, and I baked cookies!  Yes, they were the break-them-off-and-place-them-on-the-sheet cookies, but the kids were able to help and had fun.  Plus, I have been doing pretty good on my Daily 7 today - made my bed, cleaned a bathroom, have been picking up after myself, and have been doing dishes like crazy (we were behind on those, too).  I guess that just leaves laundry and our 10 min cleanup before bed to do to complete the D7!  That does actually make me feel a bit better. 


Thanks to my dad coming over, I was able to get out to the grocery store (all by myself - YAY!) and pick up some food essentials - we were behind on grocery shopping, too. 


WHAT HAVE WE BEEN DOING? 


I so wish I was one of those perfectionist people who keep their houses neat as a pin and are mega-organized.  I promise that I DO like it when our house is clean and organized - I just don't like doing it.  I so want to be Mrs. Cleaver and cook full meals from scratch, keep the house tidy and look amazing every day (in heels, no less), but that's not me.  That, and I'd have to call one of my kids "Beaver", and I just can't do that.  Poor Luke gets called "Bubba," and that's bad enough.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Weekly Schedule

So, I'm thinking I need to have some sort of weekly routine.  Again, inspired by Stephanie O'Dea from the Totally Together Journal!  She blogged today about her weekly schedule / routine, and I tweaked hers a bit to make it work for my regular schedule already in place.  I'm sure mine will change a bit as our needs change, but for now... here it is:

Monday:
  • Check food supply
  • Run errands if needed

Tuesday:
  • Weekend recovery (only because on Mondays I'm too tired!)
  • Work Day

Wednesday:
  • Dust, Vacuum, Mop

Thursday:
  • Fun Day! (everyone needs a fun day, right? - playdate time!)
  • Catch up day

Friday:
  • Pay bills
  • clean off desk
  • more catch up
  • Family Night!

Saturday/Sunday:
  • Yard work
  • Punch List Items (projects around the house - like cleaning out that front hall closet)
  • Family Meeting / Make meal plan for the week
I'm not always good at sticking to lists, but at least having a guideline means that I sometimes will - and that's better than nothing!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Preschool!

First day pics!  Laney's from today,
and Bella's from last Wednesday
















Today is Delaney's very first day of Tiny Tots (preschool for the 2-ish crowd).  This starts Bella's 2nd week of Pre-K.  Laney was super excited when talking about it last night.  When we got up this morning, got dressed, put piggies in, got into the car... all of it very exciting.  When we got to school, we promptly had to get pictures taken for the kids (picture day was today, as well), and then back into the school to get started.  My usually brave little girl didn't want to let go of my hand!  I couldn't believe it!  However, when Mrs. O'Dell started to talk to her and took her by the hand, she felt more at ease. 

Let's go Mommy!
Finding just the right spot for her backpack
No tears!

What a big girl I am!  :)  OK, well Delaney didn't cry, either.  When I left, she was happily playing with her friends.  Bella's an old pro now, and I didn't even have to walk her into her classroom.  She said goodbye in the hallway.  At least Luke still needs me!
Off to school!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Look out World!!

Here come's Luke!!  He is officially crawling and pushing himself up to sitting.  Pretty much - he can get wherever he wants!  He's so happy with himself, too.  You GO big guy!!  Mommy's super proud of you!

Friday, September 10, 2010

BumGenius!


I'm writing today to tell you of my LOVE for my Bum Genius cloth diapers.  Here's our love story:

Hangin' in the breeze!  The sun naturally whitens!
When I had my first child, cloth diapers weren't even on my radar, until my friends, Brian and Chala, had their son.  They decided to do the cloth diaper thing, and honestly... I thought they were CRAZY!  I asked them if they were using a diaper service.  No?!  I had NO idea what modern cloth diapers were like.  But, I did think, "Good for them, helping the environment.  But it's not for me!"

Great for snuggle time!
Skip ahead to when my second child was born.  My neighbor, Jen, did the cloth thing, and let me borrow a few of hers.  She had these funny-named "Bum Genius" diapers.  I found out later that they were the original BG (Bum Genius) AIOs (all-in-ones).  I decided to go ahead and try them out, and do some heavy Internet research on cloth.  While I DID love the AIOs, I only had 2, so I was still using lots and lots and LOTS of disposables.  Then, when Laney grew out of that size, I was done.  It did prompt me to try another brand, too - gDiapers.  They were okay, but there were so many parts to them, and again - I only had 2.  I found out that the size of your stash is very important!

Cloth doesn't slow Luke down!
Luke showing off his BGs to his buddy, Benji
Now let's move on to my third child (who is currently 7 1/2 months old).  I knew when I was pregnant with him that I wanted to do cloth - but REALLY do it.  So, I registered for some gDiapers (I still thought the hybrid would be a good transition), and some Bum Genius 3.0 pocket diapers.  These BGs seemed to be better than the original ones I had - I thought they'd be easier to clean, quicker to dry, and they are adjustable with snaps to fit babies from 8-35 lbs!  Yeah money saver!!!  And - I was absolutely right!!!

Chillin' in my 3.0s
I started out using the gDiapers because no one bought me the BGs.  I honestly don't think people thought I could do it, or would stick to it.  But, I did get some gDiapers at my shower, and even convinced my sister-in-law to try them.  While the concept is great - a hybrid diaper that is washable on the outside, but can be used with either cloth inserts or biodegradable disposable inserts - they LEAKED!!  I looked up what I must be doing wrong online, and all everyone said is that I needed to change him more often.  Well, I changed him every 2 hours or so, and STILL his outfits were constantly wet.  So - scratch that idea!!

I was determined to do cloth!!  My mother-in-law sent me 2 BG 3.0s in the mail, and I tried them out using the newborn insert and an extra liner at night.  My Luke-ster was a heavy nighttime wetter.  THEY ROCKED!  Not only are they just about the nicest looking little diapers, they contain pee and poop better than any disposable I have ever used.  Since there is elastic around the waist of the diaper, you don't get the poop that shoots up the back onto the baby's head (that happened more than a few times with the girls in their 'sposies (disposable diapers).)  And they are very absorbent. 

How cute am I?
Now, many people think that cloth diapers are time-consuming, and harder to use than 'sposies.  Yes, I do a load of laundry every other day that I wasn't doing before - big deal.  It's not hard!  Just as easy (but more pleasant) than taking out a bag full of nasty poop-filled 'sposies! Here's a link to the washing instructions that Cotton Babies (the makers of Bum Genius, Flip and Econobum diapers) approves of for the Bum Genius diapers: http://www.cottonbabies.com/clothdiapers.php#detergent 

After falling in love with the 2 dipes that my MIL sent, I decided that this was the diaper for me! - well for Luke, anyway!  So I ordered 4 more.  And then 3 more.  :)

Thanks for the stash, Mommy!
It didn't take long, and then Cotton Babies revealed their brand new, updated BG diaper - the 4.0!  Now, my favorite diapers come with snap closures!!  My love has grown!  So, I ordered 3 more!!!  I hear they are working on some new colors, and possibly some prints, so I'm sure I'll order another 3 pack and really round out my stash. :) 

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Luke's diapers.  I have been using disposables when we go out of town to visit Jerry's parents, but I think I will try to do cloth the next time.  Wet bags are a MUST when out and about.  You just put the dirty/wet diaper in there, zip it up, and wash it with the rest of your diapers at home.  No biggie!  And I don't have to search for a trash can that is "approved" for stinkiness!

Here are some benefits to using cloth:

  • Better for the environment

  • WAY cuter

  • Less instances of diaper rash

  • No running out to the store in the middle of the night to get yet another pack of diapers

  • Cheaper in the long run

  • Can use through multiple children - darn that I didn't catch on until my 3rd!!

  • No stinky trash cans - or worse - Diaper Genies! Bleh!

  • No chemicals on your babies bum

I know there are many more pluses, and you can find them on the Cotton Babies website: http://www.cottonbabies.com/clothdiapers.php

So, while it was not love at first sight, it's a stronger, long-term type of love.  And it has prompted me to become more environmentally conscious in general.  I'm trying to use less disposable everything! 

I love you, Bum Genius!!

My 4.0s with SNAPS!
By the way: my husband, mother, and father have NO problem using the cloth, either, and my daughters help me hang them on the line to dry.  It's so NOT complicated - and SO worth it!  If you've got a little diapered bottom in your home, give it a try.  You won't regret it!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Day of Firsts!

Today was chock-full of firsts.
  • Bella's first day of Pre-K
  • Laney's first day wearing big girl panties on an outing (we made it for a couple of hours!)
  • Luke's first deliberate, if wet and sloppy, KISS!  (Is there anything better?)
  • Bella's first pop - she had a Sprite with her celebratory Happy Meal today.
  • First run-away dog in our house - Her name was Shay
  • Laney's first backpack
I'll post pics of the first day of school after Laney has hers, too.  But for now - here's our new friend, Shay - who lives across the big street behind us:



A Place for Everything, and Everything in it's Place!

So, a while back, I mentioned something about PROMing the desk in the kitchen.  The cabinet above the desk was virtually useless, except to throw the things that we didn't want the kids to reach.  Meanwhile, my cookbooks were shoved in a kitchen drawer, and NEVER, I repeat, NEVER looked at, let alone USED!  Such a waste!  So, here's my result... it may seem a bit random to anyone else, but it's what works for our family's needs.  And I'm sure it will change throughout the years as our needs change.  By the way, we threw away dozens of candles we had stowed in there.  We rarely light a candle, because we have little people who aren't quite old enough to know that fire is not fun.
Before now I would never have let anyone else look in this cabinet!
Hair accessories easily accessible to adults but not kids on top, coffee table books we can't bring ourselves to get ride of in the middle, along with the charging cord for the camcorder, cookbooks and binders with kids school and activities info in them on the bottom.
Tea lights in container on top (these I still use at holiday time), more coffee table books, heavy duty flashlight, stapler, and checks in middle, lotions, smelly-good sprays, and files on bottom.  We have files for kids school work, bills, coupons, things to file in the BIG file cabinet, etc - mostly mail organization.
On each door I attached a magnetic white board.  On this one I have our meal plan for the week (not completed, I know - I'm far from perfect!), the Daily 7 list, and some inspiration for me.  On the other side, I post random things I need - invitations, papers to send to school, etc.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Palmer Labor Day

We may not play well, but DANG we look good!

We had a fun-packed weekend in my hubby's home town of Palmer, KS!  Jerry played softball in their Labor Day tourney.  They lost... twice. I have successfully gotten out of playing on the co-ed team every year since I've been going (I think we're up to 9 years?).  So now, I'm the team mom. I even decorated team koozies for the players. :) 
The girls spent the weekend playing with their cousin, aunt and "Taka".  Lots of outdoor play for them and LOTS of dirt!  The result was two extremely exhausted little girls. 

Luke was pretty much toted about to different people all weekend long.  Aunt Tess really seemed to enjoy getting her snuggle time in with him.  He also started to crawl this weekend and can get from a crawling position to sitting (well, he did that once... on accident). 

We love when we can make it back to Palmer for Labor Day weekend.  It's always lots of fun to catch up with family and Jerry's old friends - and some new.  I'm a suburban girl, myself, but I'm getting used to the small town thing more and more.  This does NOT mean that I want to live in a small town, mind you.  But I don't mind visiting.  I really missed my phone having reliable service.  We did find that our GPS is worth squat when we get out in the country.  Hmmm... that's where I need it the most!  Good thing Jerry always knows where he's going!

Monday, we had fun at the quarter carnival "downtown" - do they even call it that?  Probably not.  The girls won enough tickets to buy them each a Barbie, and Luke some balls to play with in the bathtub. 
THE END
I need a break after our "vacation".  LOL  Isn't that always the way? No rest for the weary, however.  Have a meeting today, then getting rid of some clutter, and home to get the house back in order after the contents of our van threw up in our living room.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Breeders

Breeders: Those who have produced or will produce offspring.

I am one.  Some may say I'm a super-breeder because I have produced *GASP* more than two!  The trend seems to be for most families to have two kids (preferably one boy and one girl), and then they stop.  We did not stop at two.  It was not because we didn't have a boy yet.  Honestly, it's because God decided to bless us with another child.  Luke was a surprise blessing, and we are thrilled to have him be a part of our family. 

When I am out with all three kids, I get many looks and comments from passers-by about how full my hands are, and questions about if I'm done or not.  Because, surely I am, right?  I mean, only crazy people have more than 3, right?  And it's perfectly okay for complete strangers to ask me about my procreation plans, right? 

Well here are your answers, folks.  Yes, I'm a breeder, and proud of it!  Yes, we have three kids.  We are not actively planning on having any more, but if God decides to grace us with another child, we will welcome him/her with open arms.  This does not make me crazy.  I love children.  That's why I have chosen the path that I have.  And, no, we are not "done" having kids because we "finally" got a boy.  That's just the pattern that we happened to get - girl, girl, boy.  We are not actively planning a 4th purely because I'm kind of freaked out by the logistics of getting all 4 children to each of their activities as they get older.  That's really it.

So, yes, I'm a breeder.  But I would much rather be a breeder than the alternative... When I taught Nature and Science, we had lots of rats in cages.  They fell into two categories: breeders and feeders.  Hmmm.... What would you rather be?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Breastfeeding

Yep, that's right, I'm thinking about breastfeeding today. This morning I attended a training for Parent Educators (that's me!) on how to support breastfeeding for the families that we serve.  It was very informative!

Now, I have 3 children, all of whom I have breastfed.  In fact, as you can see from my ticker on the right, I am still proudly nursing my youngest.  I thought I knew pretty much all there is to know about breastfeeding.  There are some major benefits that Jerry and I learned about at our "training" back when I was pregnant with Bella (they gave us a list of 100, but I only remember a few):

  • More immunities for baby

  • better bonding for mother and baby

  • It's free! (Jerry's fav. benefit)

  • Helps mom lose weight (one of my favs!)

  • Can't beat the convenience - lift shirt, place baby

  • reduces risk of SIDS

  • decreased ear infections for baby

  • decreased risk of obesity for baby when older
Plus, there's the biologist in me that just looks at breastfeeding as an extremely natural way to feed our young.  It is why we are called MAMmals, by the way.  And, as Mr. Jim Lockard (biology / environmental studies teacher at SME) pointed out to me years ago - it's one of the reasons we have lips!

But - there's always room to learn more!!

Did you know....

  • Research shows that short and long-term illnesses are linked to artificial feeding.

  • American Academy of Pediatrics recommends BF until at LEAST a year.

  • The AAP also recommends waiting until 6 months to introduce ANY other foods if you are breastfeeding.

  • BF reduces mom's risk of osteoporosis.

  • A mom can re-lactate within 6  months of weaning if they change their mind.

  • Breast milk is a living fluid (much like blood), and under a microscope, you can actually see the antibodies killing the viruses and bacteria.  Take that!
As you can see, I'm pretty passionate about breastfeeding.  I know it's not possible for all mothers, and I am by no means putting anyone down. I just want to get across how I personally feel about the importance of breastfeeding.  I'll end with a quote that shares my excitement:


If you had a wonder drug that was safe, effective, readily accessible, engineered for individual needs, environmentally friendly, painless, had immediate onset, offered long term protection, was free, and had, as a side effect, weight loss for the provider, would you use it? 
We have that drug: BREAST MILK!
- Nancy E. Wight MD, FAAP, IBCLC