Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas family fun!

This past week, we packed our bags and drove a whole 45 minutes west to stay with Hubby's siblings, their spouses, and all of there kids along with his parents.  Of course, since he's one of 5 kids, this made for a houseful of 24 people from 5 months up to 60-odd years old!  Everyone thinks we're crazy, but it is a lot of fun.  The one dozen kids all get along well most of the time, they have plenty of grown ups and a couple big kids now who can read stories, and the weather wasn't too bad so they even got to go outside and play a few days.  They even rode tricycles around in the garage when it was cold outside. 

Christmas Eve we went to my in-laws' church for their family service where we pretty much took over the front section of the pews.  Bubby wanted me to stand, and CJ conked his head during the service and started crying--but luckily they weren't the only kids there causing a ruckus!  Then we put the kids to bed and had a grown up dinner which was attended by one not so sleepy baby.  My sister in-law had set the table with fancy plates and cloth napkins.  My father in-law had brought some wine for us to try from one of his trips this year.  We managed to finish the bottle by the end of the night.  Luckily there were lots of people to split it with.

One of my favorite things about Christmas is getting to see the spouses interact with each other and with their children.  Now that I have children, I especially appreciate seeing that it isn't just my kid having problems being perfect.  All of my nieces & nephews are so well behaved though, really, and it truly is a testament to how their parents have raised them.  I like taking mental notes about different parenting tactics that they have.  They each have their own ways of doing things, but they all radiate love for their children and it is so wonderful to see.  I forget the exact wording that one of my sis in-laws said, but she was saying how love is more powerful than anything and the same applies to disciplining her children.  As Hubby would say, I have "quality" sisters & brothers in-law and I can glean so much wisdom from them--I wish Christmas happened once a month.  Every day would be exhausting. haha.

We were supposed to be going to my parents this evening to stay, but the weather is awful right now so my dad said we should wait until morning to come.  He is worried that we won't be able to see if the road is flooded or not, which is so funny because I was just talking about how he worries about weather and safety when we're traveling a lot.  I am learning to trust him a lot more now that I'm older.  So we're just going to listen to his advice and stay home for the night.  It will be good to get an extra night of rest before leaving anyway, right?  Also good to make sure our laundry room doesn't flood.

In other news, Bubby is thisclose to being able to sit up and be left sitting there without fear of him falling over instantly!  CJ had a great Christmas and loved playing with his cousins.  He had a rough time sharing toys, but he hasn't really had to do that yet so I'm sure we'll be learning a lot about that over the next few years. Luckily, I got a few ideas from my older, wiser siblings!  Well, I have laundry to fold while CJ is sleeping!  Bubby is smiling next to me beckoning my attention as well.  :D

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Thanks In ALL

So we have mice.  At first I wanted to pretend like it wasn't a real thing and that Lyna was just sniffing around like crazy because she is crazy.  But I decided to get some traps anyway  "just in case."  About 10 minutes after setting up the traps, I saw a mouse scurry into the living room!  The hunt was on.  The stories are quite comical so I thought I'd share, even though they're disgusting little creatures to have, I might as well enjoy the heeby jeebies.

Mouse 1:  Scurried into the living room.  I found him under our end table.  Hubby & I grabbed boots and started swatting.  He then scurried behind the couch to another corner where he met his doom.

Mouse 2:  We were watching a movie, and I saw it out of the corner of my eye.  Hubby thought I was crazy.  We started looking for him, but couldn't figure out where he went.  So we decided to check in the storage compartment under our couch.  Just about the time Hubby thought I was crazy, the little mouse pops out 2 inches from my foot and scares the tar out of me!  Of course Hubby still hadn't seen it, so he maintained my insanity was real.  The little guy scurried out the other side of the couch from where we were & ran into one of my traps by the dog's cage.  Then comes the part where you have to figure out what to do with the still living body.  We decided squishing was bad enough the first time.  Figured the paintball gun wouldn't work.  And the rubberband gun wouldn't be powerful enough.  So I drowned him.  :/

Mouse 3:  Wasn't that exciting other than a huge chase with a giant metal spatula while Channer was watching saying, "Mommy?  Mommy?"  Also ran into one of my traps which I had tripled the amount I set from the first night by now.

Mouse 4:  Hubby was on the computer, and I was in the kitchen.  He came in with a package of crackers and said he saw another mouse.  By this point, it was war.  He said he had seen it on the desk where he was sitting munching on some crackers.  The nerve of that mouse!  So we went searching through all the stuff that gets hidden behind the computer out of reach of CJ.  It was on my to-do list to organize the desk, and it got done.  Hubby grabbed the curtain that falls behind the desk & started screaming!  The mouse was in the curtains--and he had touched it between his fingers!  In my mind, I was thinking, "Finally, I'm not the only one to get freaked out by them!"  So while Hubby was shaking off the heeby jeebies, I got under the desk to try and heard him towards my trap, and it worked!

I just finished reading my favorite book The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, and in it she talks about giving thanks for fleas that kept the Nazi officers out of their room where they were hiding a Bible and holding a Bible study.  So I'm going to give thanks for mice because they're helping Hubby and I have fun chasing after these darn creatures.  And they are kind of cute, I just don't really want them in my home.

Monday, December 07, 2015

He can sit?

CJ's first Sunday School class was yesterday!  He was the only one potty training, but he showed those other 2 year olds that he can keep the same pants & underwear on during church.  (Let's hope that continues.)  More amazingly, as we were driving to church, I was sharing with Peter about how I was nervous for Channer and didn't picture him sitting in a chair with other 2 year olds.  When we went to pick him up from class, he was sitting in a chair lined up with the other 2 year olds!  Those people are miracle workers!  I mean, how did that happen?  They were even all sitting there with their backpacks in their hands waiting for their parents.  It was the craziest thing I've ever witnessed.  So apparently 2 year olds can sit in chairs with other 2 year olds.  You learn something new every day.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Thanksgiving & other subjects

This past week has been one for the record books.  The plan was to spend Wed-Sun at my parents house.  Tues night we had Pie & Praise at our church.  Though, the order was reversed so we sang before eating pie.  Every time they would stop the music to have a time for people to share testimonies, CJ would just keep saying, "Pie. Pie. Pie!"  We all felt the same.  But then the evening ended by CJ getting sick.  So pie was kind of ruined as were our plans to arrive on Wed.  We ended up getting to my parent's on Friday instead.  I managed to find enough stuff to make corn casserole, mashed potatoes & (packaged) gravy, a can of cranberry sauce, and leftover pork chops for our Thanksgiving meal.  It was actually our first Thanksgiving without anyone else which was sad but enjoyable at the same time.  The extroverted portion of me really wanted to be with my family though.  Then I remembered that my bff Megan was in town visitng her in-laws!  Initially we were supposed to be gone while she was here, so we hadn't planned on meeting.  So I texted her to see if she wanted to meet up.  We decided on shopping after putting the kids to bed since that seems to be the thing to do on Thanksgiving night.  Hubby stayed home to hold down the fort.

We had a pretty good visit with my parents.  I did a 3 mile run with my old sister Saturday morning, and her family came over that afternoon.  CJ was being so sweet and giving everyone lots and lots of hugs like a true Neuby would.  But then something happened and the rest of the night was a big meltdown and he only wanted, "Daddddyyy, daddddy, daddddy!!!!"  He gets that way a lot when Hubby is home, especially on weekends or extended periods where he is around.  It's not Hubby's fault, just an attachment issue with CJ.  Christmas vacation should be really "interesting" if it's still a problem then.

This morning we met with a couple therapists--one who was more general and another who was a speech therapist--as well as a coordinator, to see if I am just an over-worried mom or if CJ really is delayed in his speech.  I know I've mentioned a few times before how I have been concerned that he seems to be falling behind more and more with his speech.  He has a lot to say, but no one really understands what he's saying.  They came to our house and played with him for about 45 min-1 hour I think and saw how he moved and used words and actions to communicate.  He actually did really well for them, I thought.  He even said, "Boo," for "balloon" which he has never done before--they've always been "Elmo" because he had an Elmo balloon one time.  One of the first things the speech therapist noted was that he drools a lot.  Apparently that's not normal at this age. haha.  But they did say he was very intelligent and tested at 30-31 months for a lot of the fine & gross motor skills, however, he tested at 18 months for his expressive communication & sounding out words.  He was almost on track for receptive (what he understands) communication.  So he does qualify for services (aka I'm not crazy), and he will be starting speech therapy once a week for about an hour.  All the details are to be determined, but I am glad he will be able to get help to get caught up.  I noticed a big difference between his speech and his cousin's speech who is only 2 months older than him this past weekend.  I'm not happy that he is "delayed," but I love my boy so much I'd do anything to help him out.  He's still a fun, happy kid.

Next Sunday CJ will be starting his very first Sunday school class!  I am so nervous for him & his teachers.  I mean, having a class full of 2 year olds is just insane to me.  Little people's ministry is just not a gift I have been blessed with--which is ok.  I'd much prefer the kids who can go to the bathroom on their own at least or the teens.  I also just don't picture my 2 year old sitting down in a group to hear a story read, but I guess it's good practice.  Just so they don't blame me if he doesn't cooperate! haha.  They probably know what they're doing more than I do.  Someone asked Hubby if that meant he was going to be singing in the Children's Christmas program with the other 2 year olds--HA!

I think everything else around here has been pretty hum-drum.  I'm reading The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom which is my favorite book.  I want so badly to just sit and read it, but with 2 little ones that's just not possible.  I've also been sick the past few days so I'm trying to rest instead of staying up all night to finish it. 

It's almost Christmas!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Glimpses of the First Snow

Today we woke up to the first snow of the winter (really fall).  CJ has seen snow before, but he is practically a different kid from when he saw it last.  This was Bubby's first snow ever.  As a background for my story, Hubby went over to his parent's house last night because we were going to have a Thanksgiving meal with his parents, younger sister & her husband and he was in charge of the turkey because Mama Neuby is out of commission due to an injury illness.  I stayed home with the boys because I wanted them to get sleep in the comfort of their own beds.

CJ was the first to wake up that morning.  He started crying right away because I had to break the news to him that Daddy was not at home.  So I tried every parent's go-to:  distraction.  While he was still crying I said, "Do you want to see what's outside?"  So I took him to the front door and opened it to a blanket of snow with more coming down.  His eyes got big and his mouth hung open wide in amazement.  No more tears.

Bubby woke up a little bit later crying as well.  So I carried the crying baby to the front door and opened it to the snow again.  He stopped crying, his eyes got big and his mouth hung open wide as well.  No more tears.

It was one of those moments that you cherish because tomorrow when CJ wakes up, it won't be a big deal to see the snow.  And you only get that first glimpse ever one time with your baby.  You never know when they will see snow for the first time of the year and not be amazed at all.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Oxytocin

Oxytocin is an interesting hormone and I'm sure it is one that God created because he loves us.  It's the cuddle hormone during and after sex.  It's the "time to get the baby out" hormone.  It's the milk making hormone.  It's the baby bonding hormone.  It can help wounds heal faster.  It can increase trust.  It can decrease fear and anxiety.

One of the reasons that science becomes even more fascinating to me the more I learn is because I know that everything was ultimately created by God.  I do believe that God created everything, and I also love science.  And it's a pretty awesome thing to think about how God understands biochemistry and physics.  And I am so thankful that God created oxytocin.

I don't know if anyone else gets this way, and it did not happen when CJ was a baby, but when I nurse Bubby, I get this serious lovey-dovey feeling all the way down to my toes.  I'm not saying I love Bubby more than CJ or anything like that, but it is really weird and really neat, especially knowing that God is behind it all.

I know it's not Valentine's Day, but I guess I'm just thinking about how much I love my family and how awesome our God really is.

Monday, November 02, 2015

What do you do?

I sent my sister a text that said something along the lines of, "What do you do when you find out both of your sons and you have a horrible disease?"  A few weeks ago, I got confirmation that CJ, Bubby, and I have a genetic disease called Fabry disease.  It can cause a host of problems from early end-stage kidney disease to heart disease, stroke, and neuropathy.  There isn't a whole lot known about our mutation, though it seems to be a later onset version that is less severe.

 So what did I do?  It was nap time so I just sort of sat there after sending the text.  I thought about what I wanted to do--cry, yell, curl up in a ball.  Then I thought about what I should do.  So I started praying.  God reminded me of my favorite verse that says, "Give thanks in all circumstances."  So I just started thanking God for all the good I could think of and asked him to help me see more to be thankful for.  Then I turned on the Christian music and started singing.  It all seems crazy now, but God wants us to be crazy.  I still don't really know what to do.  Medically there isn't anything to be done at this point so when I start to get down about it I just remember to give thanks.

On the contrary, I am having a difficult time giving thanks when my patience is running short.  I checked out a couple books about organizing and household management since everything was getting away from me, and they were so helpful with motivating me if nothing else.  However, when you wash your 2 loads of laundry for the day and you are trying to fold them only to have your two year old sit on your folded stacks and then throw them on the ground, and then you have to fold them again but realize there is now dog fur on your towels and cloth napkins so you will have to wash and fold them again--it is REALLY, REALLY hard to say thanks.  And the worst part is my 2 year old is learning from my example which is no where near perfect when it comes to patience and self control.  It is a struggle.

Two year old just woke up from nap.  That's where I'm at.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A death and a baby

This morning, I took the boys and drove down to D-town to attend a funeral.  Saturday, I'll be going to a baby shower.  It always seems to be that they go hand in hand, right?  I'm so thankful for new lives.  And I am so heartbroken over lost lives.  I was able to hug my friend so hard this morning though, and that was the only thing I could do.  I couldn't form words, I didn't know what to say, but hugging her was important.  She lost her mother, and her mother was also my friend.  Older, wiser, and definitely more witty.  I know it keeps a balance and all scientifically, but I wonder why God always seems to place a new baby somewhere in the picture when you lose a loved one?  I am so thankful that He does because it helps you focus on the good in life and remember how short and fragile it is.

I don't even know what I just said.  Babbling.  That's what you do when you're sad.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Snacks

This is really just a place for me to keep my ideas, but you're welcome to steal them if you'd like.  CJ thinks about snacks probably 80% of the time, Daddy 10% of the time, and Bubby & Lyna the other 10% of the time.  I try to have snack time at 10 a.m. and then shortly after he gets up from his nap around 3 p.m.  If he is asking for a snack early, I have started setting a timer and telling him that when the timer goes off, he can have a snack.  I bought the timer on Amazon a month or so ago, and I am finding it to be so handy!  I'll set it for snack time, potty time, nap time, bed time, and time until he can get down from the table during a meal.  Who knows what we'll be counting down to in the future.  I read about the idea and liked that it was something that a kid can't argue with.  They could argue with you about whether or not they want to go to bed, but they can't argue with a timer.  What the timer says goes.

Anyway, I'm coming up with a list of "healthy" snack ideas that I think CJ will actually eat. At this point, he's mostly just eating trail mix granola or fiber bars and raisins for snacks, but I think I might hide these and only have the better options available.  Eating just fruits and vegetables never sounds appealing to him unfortunately, but I'll put them on the list in case I can convince him that carrot sticks are yummy.  So if you have ideas, feel free to share & I'll add them to the list.

-whole-grain crackers, bread (with peanut butter [PB])
-plain yogurt (with fruit, granola, flax seeds, etc.)
-cheese
-apples & PB
-carrots & low-fat ranch
-celery & PB/raisins
-raisins
-fiber bars
-nuts (I think he'd be able to eat these without choking at this point? Maybe might need to wait, I'm not sure.)
-rolled up cold cuts
-cubed ham
-cut up grapes, bananas
-broccoli and ranch (a big reach, but maybe one day!)
-mandarin oranges
-oranges
-beans
-cottage cheese
-plain popcorn (watch for choking)
-berries
-crackers or pretzels & hummus (never offered him this, but I love it so maybe he would to?)
-low-fat oatmeal cookie (just one, not the whole batch)
-prunes, cranberries
-dried apricots
-Graham crackers
-hard boiled eggs
-smoothies (My basic recipe in this order which is more than a toddler serving: 1/2 cup frozen fruit, 1/4-1/2 cup plain yogurt, handful of kale/spinach/leftover veggies, and milk or juice to the top of the frozen fruit on bottom.  Sometimes a dash of honey is necessary.)
-string cheese
-dry cereal
-bread with veggies baked in
-veggie/fruit pouches
-green peppers
-leftover pancakes with cheese on top baked under the broiler  (Is that even proper english? haha)
(These next few are stolen really good ideas.)
-apple and celery puree (never heard of that one!)
-Mini-pizzas: halved English muffins topped with tomato, grated carrot and cheese, and grilled
-Honeydew melon, mint and ice blended together - a summer sensation!
-Crackers with cheese and vegemite
-Berries and orange juice in a high-speed blender make a fun sorbet
-Fruit & yoghurt pops (mix bananas or strawberries together with yoghurt & freeze)
-Frozen seedless grapes are a cool treat (cut in half first as whole grapes could be a choking hazard)
-Baked beans on 'boats' (the boats are halved boiled eggs with the yolk taken out.)
-Fruit skewer: pineapple pieces, strawberries, orange slices and all kinds of fruit on a skewer (let them do it themselves - supervise carefully!)
-Cooked chickpeas and sweet potato blended together makes a yummy dip for crackers
-Bubble and squeak: leftover mashed potato, eggs and whatever else is handy cooked into patties. Just don't tell your toddler it's called 'bubble and squeak' or he or she may be expecting it to be a whole lot more exciting!-bagels & cream cheese
-pickle
-cucumber
-rice cakes
-sesame sticks
-. . . .



Monday, October 12, 2015

Growing myself

Ok, two posts in one day.  I'm crazy.  The kids are still sleeping.

I'm learning so much these days I thought I'd try to jot down a few of them before everyone wakes up.



The popular hymn, "I Need Thee Every Hour," has taken on a whole new meaning now.  I am reading a book called, "Hope for the Weary Mom," as part of an online book club, and through it I learned that this hymn was written by a housewife and mother of 3 children while she was washing her dishes.  You can read more about it here, but doesn't that bring so much more meaning to you if you're a mother as well?  As you are trying to get your little one(s) into bed each night, just start singing that hymn, even if you can only remember the chorus.

Another thing that really brought meaning to a lot of other mothers during our WOW Moms (like MOPS but opened up to mothers of school aged children as well) meeting this last Friday was learning to pray to love the sound of your name.  The speaker was talking about how she started praying to like hearing, "Mommy!  I'm doooooone!" or "Mommmmmyyy!  I'm uuuupppp!"  If you're a parent of a talking little toddler or preschooler, you know what I'm talking about.  You're enjoying those last few minutes of quiet before the kiddos wake up and you hear the sounds of your name being called.  In our house it's either "Mommy!  Mommy! Mommymommymommy!" or "Daddy!  Daddy!  Daaaaaaddddddyyyyyyyyy!"  What is the common reaction?  A groan or a thought of "Just 2 more minutes, please."  But as she said, "Before you know it your kids will be 15 and starting driver's ed, a few years away from leaving your house, and you will long to hear that tiny voice again calling your name."  I looked around the room and saw that I was not the only one dabbing tears from my eyes just thinking about it.  So enjoy that little addition to your prayer list.  I'm sure it will do wonders for both of us.

In case you couldn't tell from those two things, lately, I have been feeling a little overwhelmed and weary at times.  Two year olds are no joke.  The baby isn't too demanding, but throwing in his needs with the two year old just adds to the stress and exhaustion.  Please don't misunderstand me, I am LOVING this stage in our lives.  CJ is SO much fun, so loving, and so silly all at the same time.  Bubby is just a sweetie who has melted my heart.  I love it, I really do.  But after I/we shut their bedroom door, it takes all the strength in me to make it to the couch where I collapse in a heap of exhaustion.  The medical news we have received about Bubby has also had me worried, especially adding to that knowing that I also have Fabry's disease and now CJ is being tested for it as well.  However, I have started waking up early most days to have a quality quiet time.  I had been reading my Bible and such while CJ ate lunch, but as I said before....two year olds.  So I'm trying to go to bed a little earlier and wake a little sooner because if there is one thing that can fill you up with energy and encouragement, it is spending time with and learning about God.  I'm also starting a weight lifting program (as in little dumbbells) to try and get rid of the extra 15-20 pounds hanging around. (Side note:  How do you have a 9.5 lb baby and still have 20 pounds left over??? haha)  My goal is not to lose the 20 pounds, but when I look in the mirror, I want to feel like I don't look flabby anymore and I want to be able to fit in my clothes again. Also, my feet grew!  I can already tell that the quiet time in the morning coupled with taking care of me a little more is helping.  Perhaps it might be an encouragement to you to try it as well, add a few extra minutes to your quiet time you already have in the mornings or evenings, or start a little exercise routine.  And when you are feeling like a heap of exhaustion, just say remember this verse:


Milestones

Yesterday (Sunday), my baby, who had just turned 3 months old 3 days before, hit 2 milestones in one day.  Bubby was napping in the play pen in our room while CJ was napping in their room.  When Bubby woke up, I went in and he had rolled over from his back to his belly!  Of course, he was holding his head up strong and smiled at me when I walked in to get him as if to say, "Look what I can do, Mom!"  He had already mastered rolling from his belly to his back right away in life--having a large head helps with that.  Then after I finished feeding him, I held him out in front of me, and he gave me one of his adorable big smiles.  Right there looking at me were teeth!  I kid you not, my 3 month old has teeth!  Hubby was nearby and I said, "Oh my gosh, he has teeth!  He has teeth!"  He confirmed that my eyes hadn't failed me yet.  And like many moms would do, I hugged him tight and started crying.  He had the absolute cutest, huge, gummy smile.  Now it is gone, and I must begin prayers that he doesn't learn to bite early in life also.  So not only is he the size of his older brother at 6 months old, he has teeth like his older brother did at 6 months.  I haven't been able to take a picture of the teeth yet since my camera battery is dead, but I did take a picture on his 3 month birthday of his gums because it looked like he was going to get teeth soon.

Everyone tells you to enjoy it because they grow up so quickly.  With CJ, I tried.  I really did.  But I was a hormonal mess.  I hurt for a long time after delivery.  And I just didn't know how to relax and be a parent for quite a while.  So with Bubby, I told myself that I would enjoy each day more and not be in a hurry for him to sleep through the night because they really do grow SO quickly.  Well, he also started sleeping through the night (8pm-5am) on his 3 month birthday also, even through big brother's wails in the middle of the night to go potty.  I want so badly to slow time down this time around.  Everyone also tells you, "Just wait until they're crawling and pulling all your books off the shelves," Or, "Just wait until they're two...."  I am trying (though I'm not perfect) to not look at it that way because that just makes the inevitable seem just as bad as leaving the now of the gummy smiles and wiggly baby just laying on a blanket.

So don't mind me, I'll just be a lump on the couch crying into my coffee pot* cup trying to tell myself that it's going to be so fun to see him smiling with those two little teeth poking out rolling around my living room.





*Not pot, but you know I need a pot of the stuff these days.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Garbage Day Walks

Ahh, the ripe smell of a weeks worth of garbage sitting on every curb of the neighborhood!  My best unwanted advice for someone with a 2 year old (boy?):  Take a walk on the morning of Garbage Day!  I don't know if it holds true for girls, but I'm sure they'd find it just as exciting if you act excited.  However, CJ LOVES LOVES LOVES Wednesdays because it is Garbage Day.  He loves taking the trashcans out to the curb.  He loves bringing them back in.  He LOVES the garbage truck, the recycling truck, and the grass/leaves truck.  He also loves the school buses (which can be seen Mon-Fri but they're also about on Garbage Day).  Normally, CJ needs a snack to keep him happy halfway through our walk, but not so on Garbage Day!  He has perfected the sound of the air brakes on the garbage trucks.  (We just had to go run to the front door to go see the recycling truck coming down our street! Perfect timing.)  Today he noticed that there is a door on one side of the garbage truck so now he's saying, "Door! Door!"  This is definitely not a "Hump Day" but a "Great Garbage Day!"

Bubby (formerly Lil Sir) loves to nap during Garbage Day.  One day, sweet baby.  One day he will enjoy it too.  He'll probably renew CJ's excitement for Garbage Day by then as well.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Smarty Pants

This is going to be quick because I have about 2 seconds before both boys will be waking up from naps most likely.

We went for a walk this morning and walked past this house:
Channer points at it and says, "Mimi!  MIMI!!....Papa!"

This is my parents' house (aka Mimi & Papa's house):




Obviously, they don't look exactly alike to us, but the garage, staircase, size is all the same and that's what Channer remembered!  I thought it was pretty funny that he thought it was Mimi & Papa's house, and he clearly wanted me to know that they were there.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Non-Interview with my 2 year old

So CJ just recently turned 2.  Since he has probably 60 words in his vocabulary right now--most of which other people can't understand, I can exactly have an interview with him.  He'd just answer every question with "no."  So here is what I think he would say about himself.

What makes him happy? Daddy, poo poo, and pee pee (in the potty), going on the slide ("Wee! Wee!")What makes him sad? When Daddy goes "honk! honk!" (to work)
What makes you laugh? Peek-a-boo, Bubby
How old is he? Two
How old is Mommy? 26
How old is Daddy? Just turned 29 (though he was 28 on CJ's b-day)
Favorite thing to do? Throw balls.
Best friend? Lyna and Bubby
What are you really good at? Throwing balls accurately. 
What did you do today? Walk in the new stroller ("Waaaa"), watch garbage trucks (*insert air brakes sound here*), Spill the vanilla
Favorite food? The healthy stuff of course--hot dogs, chicken nuggets ("nana"), and Fiber Bars from Aldi.  I do try to keep the snacks to healthier options at least, but he's proven to be a picky eater unless you call it a "pork nugget" instead of a pork chop.
Favorite song? The Wheels on the Bus
Favorite color?  Either blue or yellow, but I don't think he's narrowed this one down yet.  (Perhaps I'm imagining that he likes yellow.)
Favorite animal? Lyna, Jasmine, and Ranger.  Lyna is our dog, and he LOVES dogs.  We just met another beagle named Dale on our walk this morning, and he was overjoyed.   He also loves the horses ("Neigh!!!") that his Grandma and Grandpa have.  He loves to feed them corn ("Cooorrrr!!!") when we visit.  In fact, we pull into their driveway, and as soon as his feet hit the ground he takes off to go see them and then heads straight to the corn crib.  It will be interesting to see how Christmas is this year at their house since he just loves them so much.

Favorite toy? Balls, trucks, and his new toy peek-a-boo Elmo
Favorite fruit? Bananas
Favorite book? Kai-lan's Sunny Day (It's apparently from some Nick Jr. tv show, but I just found it at a thrift store. Parts of it are in Chinese.)
Favorite thing to do outside?Throw balls.  Seriously, future pitcher or something.
 Favorite Show Sesame Street.  We don't spend much time watching TV, but if we do, he LOVES Elmo.  I think the producers of Sesame Street hit the jackpot with Elmo.  I mean, we're talking a kid who is not very good at speaking for his age yet he can say "Elmo" very clearly and he can recognize just a fraction of Elmo's face.
Favorite movie I don't think he's watched a movie yet??

CJ is so much fun right now, but he is also so much work.  He finds joy in just about everything, which can be problematic when that involves dumping an entire container of cinnamon upside down.  I'm pretty much a joy-killer at this point, but I'm ok with that role.  He can't have everything he wants in life.  I saw an article about temper tantrums that was posted on facebook and people were commenting, "Oh my kid never had a temper tantrum," and "If your kid has a temper tantrum, then you're giving them freedom to have one," and "blah, blah, blah."  Maybe we have different definitions, but I've realized that the most common reason for CJ throwing a fit is because I won't let him do something he shouldn't be doing or when I won't let him have something he shouldn't have.  So if he's going to throw a fit because I won't let him play with the hot waffle iron or throw blocks at his brother's head, then that's how it's going to be.  I can try to offer him something better to do, but sometimes he just needs a few minutes to collect himself before you can even suggest an alternative.  That was a tangent. Woops!  Anywho....

He is starting to interact more with other children.  He is often shy when we meet new friends at the playground, but he'll often chase them around or pretend like they're chasing him.  He's doing so well with potty training.  He's probably had about 3 accidents this week (not including naps/night time).  He's really growing into a real boy!  I love him so much and thank God for him every day.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Beautiful Lengths


So I did this today.  Hubby took care of the boys while I had 9 inches of my hair chopped off to donate.

http://pantene.com/en-us/experience-main-section2/beautiful-lengths

The "Konk!" Theory

Last Christmas, CJ's favorite word was "hi."  Now it is a close race between "hi" and "konk!"  As many parents know, when your child first falls down you automatically gasp out of fear.  Then the child, seeing your reaction, starts to wail almost inconsolably.  So the next time they fall, you try to bite your lip instead of gasping.  Well, as it turns out, it's really hard not to gasp unless you have something better to say.

Tripping over the dog.  "Konk!"
I think it was towards the beginning of spring when we first started going outside this year when I invented, "Konk!"  CJ is about as clumsy as they come.  When we were at his two-year old doctor appointment, I had to seriously question what answer I should put for the question asking if your child can walk and run without falling down.  Our dog Lyna is tied to a cable when she is in our backyard because we don't have a real fence to keep her in, and this often is a source of tripping CJ.  He runs and trips over his shoes.  He bumps his head on tables.  He bumps his head on dirt.  What I'm trying to say is, the kid just isn't coordinated enough for the energy he contains.  So every time he fell, bumped his head, or scraped his finger, I would just say in a lighthearted tone, "Konk!"  He didn't cry, picked himself back up, had me wipe the dirt off, and went back to running.

Now, he says, "Konk," every time he barely bumps into something.  Only when it really hurts does he cry and need consoling, but through tear filled eyes he manages to get out a sad little, "Konk."  He also uses it when you bump something, bang something, or drop something.  I might say that my biggest piece of unwanted advice for a parent of a one to two year old would be to teach your kid, "Konk!"  It's saved us a lot of tears.  In fact, he'll often start laughing so hard he can barely get the word out when he falls down.  He's even learned to wipe the dirt off his own hands now.  So there it is--The "Konk!" Theory.

Friday, September 18, 2015

I'll love you forever

3 years ago, someone I never met went to heaven.  I have a niece or nephew named Quinn in heaven.  Quinn would have had an amazing mommy, daddy, and siblings.  While I never got to hold Quinn in my arms, the importance of his or her life will never be diminished.  I am praying for Quinn's mommy & daddy today--the day that little Quinn got to meet Jesus.


“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Funnies

This was definitely before Lil Sir was born, but apparently I forgot to post it.  We'll blame it on the pregnancy brain.

I had some french bread in the freezer that I made into "pizza" of sorts for CJ & I to eat for dinner.  At the end of every meal, CJ pats on his leg and calls for Lyna.  Lyna isn't allowed in the room while we eat, but she can come clean up at the end.  So CJ did this tonight, but of course his hands are covered in sauce by this point.  He started patting on his leg and yelling "Yuyyyyyyy" (aka Lyna) and then he stops, looks at his leg, and says in his dramatic disappointed tone, "Awwwwww."  He didn't like having a sauce covered leg.  So then when I got my washrag to wipe off his hands, he holds his leg up in the air for me to wipe off first.

He also thinks it's hilarious that he can touch his toes to his forehead.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

These are a few of MY favorite things

My sister posted some of her favorite things for a one year old, so I thought I'd post some of mine.  We'll start with a 0-3 month old baby.


Munchkin Nursery Projector and Sound System, White
1.  A sound machine!  We have 2 different ones and I like them each for their own reason.  The Munchkin Nursery Projector and Sound System is nice because it can be really loud which is good when you're staying with a houseful of 22+ people for a week and it also has a fun projector that I occasionally use to distract CJ.  I also got the myBaby Sound Spa Portable which we use in our room or for quick trips to visit family.  While I try to avoid at all costs any sleep props, this is one that I am willing to live with and it's up to you to decide if you're willing to bring it with you everywhere or not.    This is what made CJ sleep as a newborn and also is what helps Lil Sir sleep as well.  I had it rush delivered the same day because I was so desperate for sleep.

aden by aden + anais Swaddleplus Safari Friends, 4 Count

2. aden + anais Swaddle blankets. I didn't have these with CJ because I didn't think they would be worth the price tag.  I got them as an Amazon warehouse deal this time around and they are totally worth the full price.  They are huge & soft!  I did an "unbreakable" swaddle with Lil Sir who by the way is approaching 16 pounds at just over 2 months and would never have fit in a normal size receiving blanket.  He instantly would fall right to sleep.  It was seriously amazing to watch.  Then one day it was raining.  I just got the blanket out of my diaper bag and covered up the whole entire car seat with it.  Let me repeat--this thing covered our giant (up to 30 lb baby) car seat.  No burp cloth--just use one of these!  Forgot your nursing cover--just use one of these!  I could literally forget everything at home except my aden + anais blanket and I'd be all good.  Though I'd probably cry if I had to use it as a diaper.

3. The Lily Jade.  I was fortunate enough to win a Lily Jade diaper bag (Anna in black) from a Facebook giveaway, and it is seriously amazing.  As a new mom again, I often go out and forget that I have replaced my make-up for spit-up.  However, it doesn't matter because I'm sure everyone is staring at my awesome bag.  It looks like a big bag, but is actually a super awesome diaper bag.  Some of them even convert to back packs which would be awesome.  The zipper is quiet for frantically searching for the pacifier in church.  The smell is wonderful.  They are easy to clean.  On and on....


4.  Medela Pump in Style Advanced. I was fortunate enough to be able to get one of these through my insurance so I never had to pay a dime for mine, but I would pay over 2,000 dimes for one if my insurance didn't cover it.  I don't actually have anything to compare it to, but I have heard rumors of other breast pumps that scare me.

Infantino - Union Ergonomic Baby Carrier
5. Infantino Union Ergonomic Carrier.  It isn't the BEST carrier out there, but when you're trying to not spend a thousand dollars on every baby item, this is a good option.  It's soft, hip healthy for baby, and back healthy for you. It can be used on your front or back depending on how old your baby is.  It also works for babies 8 pounds to toddlers 40 pounds.

6. Halo Swaddle Sacks.  These rank up with the aden + anais for swaddling, but the advantage to these is it doesn't require a parenting degree to figure out.  They Velcro shut so if you have ever used a lunch box that Velcro's closed, then you can use these.  I am currently transitioning Lil Sir to being swaddled with his arms out and these make that a cinch. They also are hip-healthy and prevent SIDS.


7. Babywise.  This helped me figure out how babies work and how to get sleep.  If you are completely anti-cry-it-out, then don't bother.  If you haven't gotten a full nights sleep in years, then I bet you wish you had read it.  Or you could do as I did and read it and then decide which parts you want and which you don't.  CJ slept through the night a couple days after turning 2 months.  Lil Sir slept through the night last night at 2 months 2 weeks.  Eat-Play-Sleep is the best take away from it, but please don't starve your baby.

8. Jesus Storybook Bible.  We received this as a gift and love it.  Every story points to the need for Jesus at the end and I love instilling that in my babies young.

Favorite things for an Almost 2 Year Old:

Sesame Street Elmo Toddler 7 Pack Boys Briefs - Sports (2T-3T)
1. Underwear.  Seriously.  Best thing ever. I'm so glad we're through with diapers with him.  I don't have these Elmo ones, but I really wish I did because Elmo is the only TV character CJ recognizes ever since I got him an Elmo balloon just for fun.  Now he calls balloons Elmo.  We completely threw away diapers and put CJ in underwear and haven't looked back.  From what I read, that's the way to go.  Either that or go bare bottom.  Either way--do it and don't look back is what the book said.  So we did and it worked.  Will it work for everyone?  I have no clue.  I'm just as lost in this parenting thing as you are! haha

BABYBJORN Smart Potty - Orange
2. Baby Bjorn Smart Potty.  Why is it a smart potty?  Because it takes up hardly any space, is no frills, and doesn't scare your kid.  It doesn't slide around.  It's easy for him to get on and off all by himself.  He can put the cup back in without help.  It's orange (I-L-L!).  It has a bear.  It can go with us in the back of the car or SUV.  Thank the Lord for hatchbacks.  I spray it with Lysol every day and put a little bleach in the bottom every couple days cause I'm a freak like that ever since I took Microbiology in college.

3. Slide and Find Books. Sadly, my kid just doesn't like books all that much.  I don't know if it's the age or if I'm doing it wrong, but I just can't get him to take too much of an interest in books other than throwing them or stacking them up.  However, he does love Slide and Find books!  He's an active kid.  He needs something to do.  So this way he is reading and doing at the same time.  He loves his Trucks book, and especially now that he has learned all about the garbage truck.  These have also worked well the entire time he was 1.

4. Babies R Us umbrella stroller. The one we have has been discontinued, but this is the exact same thing just $5 more and with a peek-a-boo canopy.  This is fancier than the $20 one you can get at Walmart.  It has a little basket, a larger hood, and is also slightly taller and rated for kids up to 50 lbs.  I never got one of those giant stroller systems just because we never had room and I didn't want to deal with all that bulk.  I don't need a giant basket because I'm not going to empty my diaper bag into it.  I'm going to throw my diaper back over the handles or my shoulder.  This has got us through since he was about 5 months old.  I've even been just using this and wearing Lil Sir.

5. Discipline without Shouting or Spanking.  I don't even know if this is a "popular" book or not, I just happened to see it at a thrift store and thought it sounded like something I might need. (Hashtag desperate.)  It is super easy to read and broken down by topic.  It has advice on how to prevent problems, solve the problem, and an example to further help you out.  As I may have mentioned before, I got a degree in animals--not toddlers or preschoolers.  I know nothing about toddlers other than I've heard the "terrible twos" are bad but three is worse.  I don't even particularly like toddlers unless they are my own or related.  However, this has made it easier on my dumb-mom self.

6. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk.  I checked this out from the library in the Quad Cities when CJ was a baby still because it sounded interesting.  Since he couldn't do much wrong at the time, I started testing out their advice on my dear Hubby.  And it started working!  Now that CJ is older, I'm able to use some of the advice I learned in this book, and it helps prevent the dreaded meltdown.  I keep searching the bookshelves of my favorite thrift stores hoping to snag a copy to keep.

If I had to add more, I'd say things like lids off veggie pouches, Aldi diapers, cloth diapers, a diaper sprayer, clean & empty yogurt cups, rocks, chalk, and balls. Simpler is always better.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Underwear & a chair!

My goodness is time flying so quickly!  I definitely do not have time or energy to keep up with writing every day or even every week it seems.  There have been so many funny things that have happened and crazy things and worrisome things.

Little Sir is going to be 8 weeks tomorrow and already weighs 15.5 lbs according to our scale (which rounds to the nearest 0.5).  He started smiling and rolling over from belly to back right around 5 weeks.  We were gifted some size 1 diapers and after we finished those he was already ready for the size 2 diapers.  Now we are on our size 2 diapers and will be moving on to size 3 once we run out of those.  Huge babies amaze me!  He has turned into a more laid back soul, but still prefers to be held and cuddled.  We did get some unsettling news that he most likely has what is called "Fabry disease."  It is a disease where his body is lacking an enzyme that breaks down certain fatty lipids in his body and could cause pain, kidney disease, heart disease, and stroke early in life.  There is a medicine developed to help treat it, but it doesn't sound like it is any fun either.  He would start that treatment later down the road as a boy.  We are currently still waiting on the genetic test results to find out what specific mutation he has and will proceed with further testing of myself and CJ from there.

CJ is turning 2 in just a few weeks which is mind blowing!  He decided he didn't want to wear a diaper and insisted on sitting on his potty that we've had sitting in the bathroom for a couple months now.  And he peed in it!  I was amazed.  From what I have always been told, boys don't potty train until they're 3 or older.  Well, CJ (for now) has decided he's not a statistic.  I started letting him sit on the potty when he wanted to and after waking & eating.  He started succeeding quite frequently so just about the time I decided we were going to get rid of the diapers he got sick.  Poor thing had a fever and just didn't feel good.  So I backed off for a few days and once he was doing better we had a "throwing away the diapers" ceremony and said our prayers.  He's done really well so far--only a couple accidents today (Day 2 officially).  I have him in underwear for night at this point, but I'm not sure how well it will work out so I'm playing it by ear as far as that goes.  We changed the sheets 3 times last night, haha.

Hubby & I are doing the best we can.  It's hard at times because CJ has a serious attachment to his daddy, and having 2 little bity ones at the same time has a lot more challenges than I imagined.  I never thought about how people get 2 under 2 from the car into a store safely.  Now I've got to figure out how I'll manage with taking CJ to the potty in public with a baby.  Should be interesting.  Diapers would be easier, but I'm determined. haha.

That's a shortish update, but I'm exhausted and the last little one just fell asleep so I'm going to go "relax" (while thinking about:  "Is CJ going to wake up?"  "Is Lil Sir going to sleep all night finally?"  "Does my dog smell?" etc, etc).

Oh, I also got 2 more chairs to remodel that go with my collection!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Little Sir's Birth Story

On July 6, 2015 at 11:09 a.m., we welcomed Little "Sir" into our family!  He weighed 9 pounds 5 ounces, was 20.25 inches long, and had a head circumference of 14.5".  This is the story of how he made his entrance into the world.  (Warning:  Birth can be gross to many.  You might say TMI; I say it's how God designed us.)

For more than half of this pregnancy, I have had Braxton Hicks contractions that only got stronger.  On the night of the 4th of July, they were becoming painful and I really thought I might be going into labor.  The contractions got to be about 10 minutes apart, but when I got up for the day on Sunday the 5th (my due date), they fizzled out.  I kept having them all day, but they weren't regular or painful anymore.  I'd say around 10 p.m. is when they started in again at about 10 minutes apart.  I tried sleeping, but that didn't work because I was worried about whether or not I should call my mom to drive 1.5 hours to watch CJ.  By midnight they were about 8 minutes apart, and I was convincing myself to call her.  Eventually, I gave in and she arrived at our house about 3 a.m.  I still hadn't woken up Hubby to tell him that tonight was the night because he just finished the busiest weekend of his career and I wanted him to have stamina in case this thing went for another 24+ hours.  My contractions were 3 minutes apart and growing in strength when my mom got there which was when we were told to go to the hospital.  I could still talk through them though, so I woke Peter but delayed leaving until 4 a.m when they were 2.5 minutes apart.

When we got to the hospital, they checked me, and I was 4 centimeters and the contractions were now 2-3 minutes apart.  I was GBS+ so I got my first round of penicillin, which burned going into my arm so bad!  They let me labor a little longer and I think I walked around some while Hubby took a nap on the couch which I was ok with.  At 7:30 a.m. my midwife decided to check me again since she hadn't yet, and I was only at 5 centimeters, 90% effaced and -1 station with contractions still 2-3 minutes apart.  We decided that to really get things going, it was best if she broke my water.  Then the fun started.

The contractions got stronger, and I wasn't able to talk or walk through them.  At 9 a.m., I got my second round of penicillin in the opposite arm and it was such a big distraction from trying to stay relaxed through the contractions.  I think that's when the pain started getting the best of me.  I was determined to go without the drugs this time since the epidural ruined everything last time.  I had a lot of back labor and my labor & delivery nurse and midwife were convinced that if I got on my hands and knees or stood and leaned forward resting my arms on the bed that the baby would get into a better position.  They were pretty much right about that.  By 10:15 or so, I really had to pee, but my labor nurse said that I had to promise I wouldn't push once I got in there.  I couldn't make that promise, so I stayed where I was at.  I started pushing at 10:55 a.m.  The pain was so intense and I wasn't breathing correctly so my arms and legs started getting all tingly--I never expected that.  Poor Hubby got a little woozy and had to sit, then lay down, but I've passed out so many times I don't blame the guy.  No way would I be able to stand and watch all of that go down myself!  After 16 minutes of pushing, our second baby boy was placed on my chest immediately!  I think my first words were, "Oh my gosh, it's CJ!" 



We delayed clamping the cord, and then shortly after I got to experience what it feels like to deliver a placenta.  Ew.  But I must say, God did an amazing job of making this whole process work out and creating an entire organ to sustain a baby's life inside its mother.  I can't remember if I started nursing him before, during or after the placenta ordeal, but he latched on and wouldn't let go for the longest time.  Our "sacred hour" of bonding turned into 2 hours because he was nursing so long.  I did have a second degree tear and I do remember nursing him while getting put back together.  The only pain medication I received was the shot for the stitches.

I was told that I had to get up, pee, and walk to my postpartum room in order to get my IV out.  I did all but the last one because while I was standing waiting to go, I quickly realized I was too lightheaded to make it all the way there.  I got a wheelchair ride instead, which is fun.  You don't get to ride in a wheelchair everyday if you don't have any physical challenges.  Since Little Sir was so large, they kept checking his blood sugars which kept improving.  They said he had a small heart murmur the first day, but it was gone by the second day.  We stayed in the hospital until after dinner on the 7th.  Some people argue to stay at the hospital an enjoy the extra help while you can, but I argue that I cannot sleep in a hospital.  So we went home, and life as we now know it has begun!

Monday, June 15, 2015

He's pretty fun

I don't even know how long it's been since I've posted an update on the adventures of CJ, Lyna, and myself.  He can be a handful at times when hubby is working a long home stand, and I'd be lying if I said it doesn't get to me.  However, I recognize that this kid has brought me more smiles and laughter than any other kid in the world.

Hubby didn't have a game the other day so I said I would drop him off at work so CJ & I could venture into the civilized world.  I ended up at Burlington Coat Factory because they have everything (aka Baby Depot) and they have amazing clearances.  We made it to the shopping carts before I seriously considered turning around and going home.  CJ did NOT want to sit in the cart.  I pulled out the Cheerios or whatever snack it was that I had packed, and prayed for the best.  He lasted a while, but by the end of the trip, he was pushing the cart all the way to the door with a little steering help from mom.  Much like when we went to Sam's Club the day before & he helped push the cart there:
That's another thing I have become more and more aware of--helping.  CJ LOVES to "help" me with chores around the house.  He obviously can't do much, and when he does help I usually end up having to do things 2 or 3 times over.  After he is finished eating, I'll give him the washrag and he'll try to wipe up his spot at the table.  Once he is down from his chair, he will take his plate and silverware (which has usually ended up chucked on the ground) and toss it in the sink.  He'll also toss a few other items in the sink too that I need to get out.  He loves to help with laundry.  He always puts his pj's and clothes in his laundry basket.  He'll also take them out and put the basket on his head.  He'll pick up our clothes off the floor so I don't have to bend over and put them in our laundry baskets.  He wheeled the one laundry basket through the whole house with some guidance all the way to the washer.  Then he took out the dirty clothes and chucked them in the washer one by one.  Once they were washed, I handed him a piece at a time and he tossed them in the dryer.  He also threw a few magnets in there while he was at it.  He even helped unload the dryer.  He's not very good at folding, but he definitely helps with unfolding!  He also helps me stand up when I'm stuck.  The other night, he picked up his entire room by himself.  He had taken every book off the shelf and all the disposable diapers out of the diaper stacker, but he was very excited to put everything back.  I make sure I give him lots of praise and thanks for his help--I don't want it to end!

I am 3 weeks away from my due date, and I am feeling extremely uncomfortable.  My back hurts, I can't breathe, can't sleep, and I have to pee constantly.  They say, "Oh baby will drop and then you'll be able to breathe, but then you'll just have to pee more."  Well my baby must be perfectly balanced between my lungs and my bladder because I've got both.  This is all leading somewhere.  CJ & I have adapted our activities to involve mommy in a more relaxed position--such as playing on the bed.  I lay on my side, and he does a falling leap over me into the pillows.  Rest for me, giggles for him.  Yesterday, we watched a little bit of 101 Dalmations--which before you judge me, I rarely let him watch TV/movies.  During the scene where the dogs are barking throughout London to let the other dogs know that the puppies were missing, he kept saying, "Woof, woof, woof, woof."  Then it got to the horse that neighed, and CJ goes, "NAAAAYYYYY!!!"  It was seriously funny--your probably had to be there.

We did go for a walk to the ice cream place down the road.  I checked the radar before we left, and it wasn't supposed to rain for another 2 hours.  By the time I walked out of the restaurant with our food, I looked up at the sky and I could see the storm clouds rolling in.  They were moving so fast!  I said a few things about weather.com in my head and decided we had to book it to beat the storm.  Of course, super pregnant lady pushing a stroller while carrying ice cream didn't go so well and we ended up getting wet.  But we beat the worst of it!  And we had ice cream.

Currently, we are having a new roof put on the house that we are renting.  We'd been collecting buckets of water, and the landlord decided a new roof might be warranted.  CJ thinks all the pick up trucks are cool along with falling shingles getting thrown down.  The truck they brought to put the new shingles on the roof had him standing still just staring out the window for so long, I was able to sit at the table and read a magazine!

I don't know what else we've done that was exciting or worth mentioning.  Our lives might seem pretty dull, but to us it's a new adventure every day!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Ladder Back Rush Chair Makeover! Finished product!

Just over a month ago, I posted about how I had found these 3 ladder back chairs with rush seats on a resale group on Facebook for only $25.  I am very pleased to say that I have FINALLY finished their makeover!  Here are the before and afters:
 
*Drum roll please!*

When I started out with the sanding, I thought to myself, "What the heck was I thinking?!  I'm 8 months pregnant and trying to bend over and sand an ugly, hopeless chair!"  But I enlisted some help with the sanding....
I started with the chair that was in the worst shape.  It had a couple places where there were deep chips missing so I got some wood filler & did my best at patching up the holes.  Some of them also needed just a touch of wood glue to make them a little sturdier again.

Ready for paint!

 At first I started with a can of spray paint (a mask and outdoor ventilation) because I read that it would easier to do that way.  As it turns out, I'm not very good at spray painting, and it takes A LOT of paint for one chair.  A whole can of spray paint in fact.  So then I got smart and bought a small container of white paint for $10 and took my time.  One by one, I slowly but surely got them done.  I debated for a while on whether I should paint the rush seats or leave them "natural," but in the end it was easier to not have to tape anything as well as I liked the "aged" look of an imperfect paint job on the rush seats.  After doing the second one, I spent a long time trying to convince myself to finish the last chair.


The other day, my pregnancy crazy got the best of me and I decided to paint the steps from the kitchen to the laundry room white since the plain plywood with the stamps and all on it was driving me to insanity further.  (These are also the 2 steps in the house that CJ fell down when he got his first bloody nose.)
Since I had the can of paint out again, I decided that it was also time to finish the last chair.  I sat on the front porch with my now 9 month belly in my lap and sanded it.  After a couple coats of paint and some drying time, it was ready for the finishing touch.  They all got a coat of clear gloss for extra protection--I don't want to have to paint them again anytime soon! 

Now with the new baby on the way, I can rest easy(-er) knowing that we have extra seating when we have company and 2 of my chairs are taken up by strap on booster seats and high chairs.  Surprisingly, despite their age, they are all still sturdy, especially now that I've added the wood glue.  They all got a new red seat cushion from IKEA ($12 for 3 of them), and I think they look very clean with their new look.



Thursday, May 28, 2015

"Awww"

5/27/2015
CJ's newest phrase is, "Awwww."  It isn't so much the "aww, cute" as it is the dramatic, "Awwww, shucks."  He drops something and says, "Awwww."  He loses a shoe and says, "Awwww."  He hits his head on something and says, "Awwwww."  He throws his plate of food and says, "Awwww."  He hits me in the head with a block and says, "Awwww."  I mean, it was cute for a little while.

5/28/2015
Today is my mommy's 54th birthday!  My dad didn't get to be there for it since he's started his radiation treatment in St. Louis which is sad, plus some other personal stuff is going on so I'm sure it wasn't her favorite birthday.  My oldest sister and her family took her out for dinner & dessert though.  CJ ended up texting her and calling her while we were on a walk this evening.  He must have known she needed cheering up!

Today was just a rough day for me as a parent.  I felt like I was fighting the same battles over and over again all day with CJ. He'd eat a meal and throw his food.  He'd get into drawers, doors, and cabinets he knows he's not supposed to be in.  He'd throw things and bang things.  Then he'd fight me when he needed a new diaper, and he'd fight me at nap time.  He likes to use my belly as a kick board, and it doesn't feel good at all.  Over and over again, it was the same things.  I'm sure every kid and their parents go through these things, but that doesn't make it any easier when you are going through it yourself.  I just want my son to be a perfect angel like I was for my mother.  ;)

At least one funny thing did happen today that I can recall.  The garbage truck was coming and CJ was finishing his lunch so I moved his seat right in front of the door so he could watch out the window and be entertained for free.  So he is sitting there in complete shock as the garbage truck pulls up, the man hops out, takes our trash can, does his thing, and goes back to the truck.  The man saw CJ in the window with his mouth wide open and waved at him.  Normally my son is the first to wave or say, "Hi!" or, "Bye!"  Not this time though.  Complete amazement.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Snuggling is Wonderful

This past weekend, Hubby got to take half of Saturday off and all of Sunday off which is huge!  We were planning on just hanging out, but after finding out that the brakes on our car were in dire need of replacement, we went to Ma & Pa Neuby's house Sunday after church so he and his dad could replace them.  Now he has learned a skill that can be used over and over again in the future.  Also, he got to go to church which was exciting for both of us!  I had someone the other Sunday say, "Now I don't mean to intrude, but I noticed your husband hasn't been here in a while...."  Of course my fingers have started swelling so I don't wear my wedding rings either so I'm sure that only leads to further confusion.  Now I have a Princess Kate ring that I got in a size larger than my regular size to wear so at least something shiny is on my ring finger.

CJ got to feed Jasmine and Ranger some tall clover and alfalfa.  Or should I say just Ranger because anyone who knows these horses knows that Ranger always makes sure he gets fed while Jasmine stands behind begging for food.  He tried giving them some short grass, but I envisioned his fingers getting chomped right off and put a stop to that before he had a chance.

5/25/2015
My plan was to wash all the dirty laundry in the house.  When I put the first load in the dryer and turned it on, an awful noise started in.  There went my plans.  I ended up hanging those outside to dry and waited for Hubby to come home and rescue me that evening. He fixed it!  A piece of sandpaper (from my chair project) had gotten pushed down into the lint trap when I cleaned it out.  Lesson learned:  Don't do laundry when you have a toddler about.  Don't use the top of your dryer as storage space for random things.

We went for a family walk this evening!  Wow, does Hubby walk a lot faster than I can now.  I feel like my pelvis is literally falling apart lately from the weight/pressure of the baby.  So after that walk, I was pretty much beat.

5/26/2015
I got some snuggle time with CJ today!  I had a show playing in the background, and CJ had just woken up a little bit ago so he climbed up in my lap and snuggled with me.  :)  I am really hoping I still get lots of snuggling with him once baby comes.  He never snuggled until the past few months so I feel like I've missed out.

He also started walking like he had just gotten off a horse.  I thought maybe his pants were on wrong or something, but when I changed his diaper, I discovered that he had gotten a really bad diaper rash in just a short amount of time.  Poor thing.  So we gave him some air time after his bath, smeared it with the good stuff before bed, and prayed that it would go away by morning time.

Also, our roof started leaking today in the bathroom.  It was leaking through the bathroom fan/vent/whatever it's called.  The landlord said he would think it would be a condensation issue rather than a roof leak because it seemed like too much of a coincidence for it to leak there to him.  However, I think it would be a bigger coincidence for a condensation issue to happen during the heaviest part of a storm when no one had been showering and running the fan.  We'll see who is right I guess.  The good news is--it's not my house so I don't really care much.  Obviously, if it's leaking into the tub it isn't hurting any of my own personal property so he can do whatever he wants.  Just as long as he isn't replacing the roof when I have a brand new baby. The woman is always right, right?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Walking the Dog

Seriously, time is flying by me!  A week has passed already since I woke up feeling sick??  Is that right?  It probably goes faster because I have to be faster every day to catch up to CJ--which isn't exactly easy given my current condition.  I can relate to several things--penguins, turtles on their backs, beach balls, watermelons.  Just imagine a penguin trying to catch up to a toddler.


5/15/2015-5/19/2015
I don't really remember what happened these days other than church.  It rained some.  The new pastor was officially ordained.  Hubby worked.  I sniffled and coughed.  CJ got into trouble probably while looking adorable.


5/20/2015
Yesterday, I had an appointment with my midwife.  She told me to come up with a birth plan which I have never done before.  My hormones got the best of me every time I tried working on it because I was imagining every single detail of the labor and delivery.  I cannot wait for baby boy to get here!  Hubby was just saying before going to work how much fun it's going to be having "2 of them."  While in the waiting room, a little boy (around 3-4 years old) saw that CJ had a toy in his hands and ran up and grabbed it from him.  While telling him to give the toy back his mom was saying, "Sorry! He doesn't have siblings and isn't around little kids!" CJ could have cared less, but it was funny to think that we'll be dealing with that same situation in no time.

Then we went to get the oil changed, tires rotated, and car washed.  It was a dealership which had a playroom, popcorn machine, coffee, and bottled juice and water.  Needless to say, I had no problem occupying CJ for 45 minutes while there.  Now we have to get new brakes and rotors for our car because apparently they're pretty much non-existent at this point.  We'll be visiting Pa Neuby on Sunday so he can show Hubby how to do them.  I've watched my dad do them on my Malybooboo before so I at least know what they look like! haha.


5/21/2015
Today, I got the idea that CJ could walk Lyna around the back yard.  We don't have a real fence so the dog is attached to a cable when she is outside.  So I left her attached to that and hooked the leash up to her and handed it over to CJ.  I figured he knows by now what to do with a leash since we've been going for walks almost every day.  He loved trying to get Lyna to move.  Of course, she might be crazy when she's alone, but in the company of others she's pretty much like a mule.  Eeyore to be exact.  He'd pull with all his might until he fell down.  I got the idea to record him "walking" her this evening, and I'm so glad I did because he ended up running smack into the gutter.  Not enough to hurt himself, but just enough to make me laugh.

We also locked Lyna in her prison cell and walked to a "nearby" park.  It is exactly a half mile walk from the house  which is exactly how far the park was from my house growing up so I thought it wouldn't be that bad.  Clearly I'm out of shape.  This is the same park where CJ "broke his leg" but just for April Fools.  He wanted to go down that slide again, but I decided against it and helped him go down a different slide.  School had just gotten out so there were a ton of buses and cars driving by while I pushed him in the swing.  It's nice that he is so easily amused.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Who stole the cookies?

5/14/15
Today, I woke up feeling rather sick to my head.  The beginnings of a sinus infection--the symptoms of which I am all to familiar with.  It happens every allergy season usually more than once.  However, I got dressed (in a tshirt that sort of fits and my worst pair of jeans) and went on with my day. I saw a jar of cookie mix that has been sitting on the shelf for a month or so and decided if anything would make me feel better, cookies definitely would be it.  Of course, we had slowly eaten a lot of the chocolate chips and M&M's from it.  So I made the "Healthy(ish) Monster Cookies."  When I mixed the batter up, it wasn't quite sticky enough--very crumbly.  So I added a banana because I am not allergic to bananas if they are baked.  I still need to google if baking bananas kills the potassium or not, but I really need the extra potassium because I get horrible leg cramps nightly and I'm allergic to pretty much everything with potassium in it.  Anyway, on to the funny(ish) part of the healthy(ish) cookies.  CJ has not been a climber--until today.  He hasn't once made it on the kitchen table--just the chairs.  However, I let him have one cookie after he finished his lunch, and that was enough motivation to learn to climb onto the table to steal cookies from the cooling racks.  Every time I turned around, he was on the table stealing cookies.  He cried when I put the remaining cookies in a container on top of the fridge.  I am positive he ate at least 5 cookies yesterday.  At least they were healthy!  Ish.

He also discovered a way to climb up a couple boxes and fling himself over the arm of the couch.  Over. And over.  And over.  And over again.

5/15/15
CJ was pointing out the sliding glass door saying, "Ba!  Ba! Ba!"  I thought maybe he saw a bunny.  Then I realized he was pointing at two little birds.  So I said, "Oh yeah, it's a bird!"  So he proceeded to bounce like a bunny.  I told him, "Birds fly like this."  Then I did my best wing flap and asked if he could do it also.  He sat down and laid flat on the ground.  Dead bird was all I could think.

As a side note, my chair project is coming along nicely I

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Learning to Talk

It has been wonderful to have a couple evenings with my husband home.  Sitting on the couch doing nothing but watch TV, and getting to talk a little after CJ goes to bed has been wonderful.  However, I told him that while I love actually getting to see him, a part of me just wants to run away to Target or I-don't-care-where all by myself while he stays home with CJ and the dog, but a bigger part of me wants to enjoy the chance to see him.  Baseball season is so hard sometimes.  He hasn't had a day off since the middle of April.  He's hoping to be able to take tomorrow off completely, but even then, he is still guaranteed to get phone calls.  Thankfully my sister in-law was kind enough to watch CJ for a few hours last weekend while I went to a bridal shower, so at least I have had a little breathing time in addition to Sunday mornings at church.

CJ was really trying to make out some new words today, which is encouraging.  According to his pediatrician, I shouldn't worry--he hit the minimum for the amount of words he should be speaking at 18 months.  I think I just worry because so many other kids his age are fluent in the English language it seems.  He was making sounds that sound like water, fan, diaper, and a few other this evening while getting ready for bed.

He also is trying to scale to new heights.  At one point while I was trying to wash some dishes, I looked over and saw him standing on top of a chair at the table trying to get some loose change.  A choking hazard and a fall hazard--great parenting there.

We went for a walk yesterday, and in honor of the new princess, we walked down Charlotte Street.  I told CJ all about how neat it is that the prince was born the same year he was, and that the princess is born the same year his brother will be born.  He didn't seem to care.

Upcoming Project

I am pretty excited about this!  So we have 4 chairs for our kitchen table.  We bought the table brand new with one small scratch for like $30-40 at a JC Penney furniture outlet when we first got married.  Then we used gift cards to get the chairs.  Thus far, it has worked for us.  However, with CJ sitting in a chair with a booster seat, and baby on the way soon to be sitting in the high chair that also straps to a seat, that pretty much leaves nothing else except for bar stools when we have guests.  I've been keeping an eye out on Craigslist and other Facebook resale groups  for a couple extra chairs that we could use.

I managed to find these 3 ladder back rush seats a Facebook group for $25 for all 3!  That's $8.33 a piece!  I mean, how could I pass that kind of steal up?  Hubby was excited because they remind him of Cedar Campus.



I still haven't quite decided how I'm going to fix them up, but I have several ideas.  Some of them will require hubby's assistance, which isn't necessarily available much during the baseball season.  We'll see what I decide to do.  I have already given them a good cleaning with some Murphy's Oil & added a little hot glue to the few stray pieces of cane webbing.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Craigslist's Most Interesting

I am a Craigslist fan--for buying and selling.  I often find really crazy random stuff that people post on there.  Like this:




Friday, May 01, 2015

Not too shabby of a week

Last Saturday, the game was delayed so we took advantage of a few hours of time together as a family and went to my in-laws' farm.  We mostly just said hi to the horses, but it was nice to be together for a change of pace.  Sunday evening, hubby was able to come home from work before bedtime so we built a temporary fence together in the dark.  I'm sure when my neighbor woke up the next day, he was a little confused as to how it got there.  He's been working ever since then so I'm looking forward to him maybe getting some time (a half a day maybe???) off.

CJ, Lyna, and I have just been hanging out enjoying the perfectly perfect weather.  CJ has learned how to kick a ball now which is fun.  It diverts his attention from automatically wanting to throw everything--blocks included.  He also says "ta da" which means "touch down" when he throws a football.  He also says "good girl" pretty well ("goo gir") when he's talking to Lyna.  He has finally started doing the sign for "thank you" to go along with "please."  He officially knows manners!  Now we just have to get him to do them at the right times.  At some point during the week, CJ found my phone and managed to call his dad at work.  I found him sitting on the couch having a full out conversation with him.  I'm not sure how much his dad understood other than "HI!"  We went garage sale shopping this morning, and he held my hand and walked with me at some places or followed close behind me at others.  He also enjoyed picking up little pieces of trash or dirt off of other people's garage floors and handing them to me.  We found some blinds to replace the ones we broke first thing in this house, but that was it.  As we were leaving the sales he would wait until we were almost to the car to say, "Buh bye!"  I love it how people are always trying to say hi to him and be friendly and he usually responds with a blank stare.  Then as they are walking away he'll finally say, "Hi!"  Toddlers are pretty funny like that.  Tonight we were praying before bed, and I had my eyes closed and he leaned in and gave me a sloppy wet kiss that I wasn't expecting.  Next time I sing that one song, "How He Loves Us," I'll have to remember that kiss.  He's definitely the cutest prince I've ever kissed before.

Baby seems to be moving all over the place right now.  I was just thanking God that he hasn't been all in my ribs so far.  Guess what he just moved into?  Ribs.