Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Mom's Spiritual Struggle

 I'll admit I've been in a spiritual slump for the last little bit. The spirit hasn't been strong within me.

Recently I've pondered on this and wondered and prayed for WHY???

Reverence is more than just quietly sitting, it's thinking of Father above . . .
During church, how is a family to be reverent when you have a 3 year old and a 1 year old.

A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to go to some church history sites.  We got to see the Sacred Grove - The site where Joseph Smith wondering which church to join, knelt down and humbly prayed for direction.  As we walked into the grove a sign said to be reverent.  I read this as we walked in with our two kids.  I chuckled at the thought of us actually being reverent.  HA HA HA!  Luckily there weren't very many people there.  There was a peaceful feel while we were there, but I can't say I was overcome by the spirit while there.

A few hours later we were at Hill Cumorah - the site where Joseph Smith was led to to get the Gold Plates.  A similar experience. except this time, I was out of breath; it is a really steep climb and having our littlest in the front carrier, and pushing the older one is the stroller only made it worse.

During the day . . . when it seems evening comes before lunch time. How do I find time to ponder and think on Christ.

OK so are kids the problem . . . NO!!! 

I love my kids and can't imagine my life without them.  I actually think they have been part of the answer to my problem.

How are they the answer when I just showed they are the problem?

Recently I bought some pictures from the distribution center.  One of each of the following: Christ, the Jordan River temple, Thomas S. Monson, and Joseph Smith's first Vision.  I put the pictures on Parkers wall.  As I told him about the pictures he listened well.  The next night, we talked about the pictures again.  Now he tells me about the pictures.  I feel the spirit as we talk about them and I see the light in his eyes as he gets excited about these pictures and the meaning/stories behind them.  (BTW - I still need to work with him a little with the picture of the current prophet - Thomas S. Monson.  Right now he just calls him Thomas (I think it stuck because of Thomas the Train).  I'd hate for him to someday walk up the the prophet and say, "Hi Thomas").

I recently also became more selective in what I'd bring to church.  Sacrament meeting can be long for a 3 year old.  I've decided he can sit still until after the sacrament (about 20 min). After that I'll have picture books about church related things, friend magazines, things to draw with, maybe an eye spy bag or even a sticker book, but NO TOYS (especially cars)!!!

I've recently had two other experiences that allowed me to feel the spirit strongly.  Yesterday I was able to go to my nephew's baptism.  I felt the spirit really strongly there as the spirit witnessed to me the truthfulness of the gospel. I was moved to tears.  I also felt the spirit really strongly at the General Relief Society Women's Conference.  I was reminded of instances in my life when God has taken the time to let me know without a doubt that he loves me as he has literally wrapped me in his love.

I'm not perfect.  God knows that better than anyone else.  He loves me.  I'm sure he doesn't love my imperfections, but that is why he gave me a way to overcome those imperfections.  WHAT LOVE!!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

GRRR

I recently unknowing volunteered myself to babysit regularly for FREE.

I find myself in a hard place.  I feel selfish for thinking I should be compinsated some how for the 3.5 hours per week I watch a 4 1/2 and an almost two year old.  But at the same time the time is a time when my kids would normally be taking naps so it is a lot more work than I'm used to.

When I was going to school I always felt so grateful to people when they would watch my kids for me and felt like they deserved to be paid.  Honestly they deserved to be paid more than I gave them, but still I did pay them. 

When I started watching my friends kids she messaged me via Facebook and asked if I knew anyone that could watch her kids one day a week for a few hours between they time her husband goes to work, and she gets home from work.  She said she could pay.  I volunteered, thinking sweet now I'll be able to put the money towards an awesome swing set I've had my eye on, but have never received payment.  I guess could pay doesn't mean she would pay.  I'll have to make that more clear in the future. 

I feel like I'm in a hard place because I'm her visiting teacher (however her husband is our home teacher) and feel like I should be willing to serve her, but at the same time I don't want to become the free sitter in the neighborhood.  I don't mind watching someones kids for a few hours every now and then, but when it is weekly I think that deserves some sort of compensation,

I tried to call her to take my kids (I only gave her about 2 hours notice) for a few hours while Troy and I go do something, but she said she already had plans so no luck there.  I'll have to try again when I'm able to give her more notice.

Recently another person in the neighborhood approached me about watching her 2 1/2 year old for 1-2 days per week.   I told her I could do it and hopefully made it clear that I plan on getting paid for it.  When I start watching her little boy I'm going to approach the other person and say that I recently starting watching another little boy and to keep things fair and to prevent being the dumping grounds for kids if she wants me to continue watching her kids she need to start paying either by taking my kids one night a week so we can go out or with cold hard $$$.

Why do people think they should pay when other people watch their kids on a regular basis?  What are your feeling about this (and telling me I'm out of line for wanting payment is perfectly ok)?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Night Training Parker

I wanted to catalog this for future reference.  Sometimes I think I remember the easy parts and forget the hard parts of life.  This is so maybe I'll have the same patience with my future kids.

I decided just over a week ago that I was going to stop putting diapers on Parker during the night.  Prier to this Parker finally started WANTING to go potty by himself, and most of the time would stay dry during his naps.  However he would ALWAYS wake up with a wet and poopy diaper.  I was expecting the worse, and although it wasn't an instant success I think it has turned out pretty well.

MONDAY- I put a Pull-Up on Parker and told him if he kept it dry I would give him a sticker and a piece of candy. It DIDN'T work, he soaked it, and his PJ's.

TUESDAY- Woke up wet, and Parked didn't like it. He wanted a bath and clean clothes/bedding when he got up.

WEDNESDAY- Woke up wet, but it didn't seem to bother him.  He didn't even want me to take the wet clothes off.  I thought for sure this was a bad sign.

THURSDAY- Wet his underwear while brushing his teeth that night. Woke up crying at 5am.  I could tell he must of wet his pants, but they were only damp so I figure it must have been pretty early in the night.  I changed his clothes and bedding while he went potty.  He went back to bed, and woke up dry.

FRIDAY- Parker woke up at 2am crying.  When I walked into his room he was standing next to his bed. There was wet spot on the floor, his pants were wet, but his bed was dry.  I brought him to the bathroom and stood him next to the toilet while I cleaned up the mess and got him a new change of clothes.  When I came back into the bathroom he had pooped, but since I hadn't sat him on the toilet I had another mess to clean up.  When I brought him back to bed he said his stomach hurt (which he never says unless he is about to throw up).  I decided to lay with him in his bed for a little while.  That only lasted a few minutes, because he started throwing up.  Needless to say the rest of the night we were down stairs watching movies.  Through all of this his bedding did manage to stay clean though.

SATURDAY- I woke Parker up at 11pm had him go potty, and then he went back to bed.  He woke as well around 1 or 2 and starting crying so I went in his room and showed him to the bathroom. He went potty and then went back to bed.  Woke up dry.

SUNDAY- I tried to wake him at 11pm to go, but he was so out it didn't work out.  I decided for us this wasn't something I'd try again.  He woke up at 2 am crying.  When I went into his room he ran out and wanted me to read him a story, but was still dry.  I told him to go use the potty which he refused to do.  I was finally able to bribe him with a story.  After he went potty I read him a story and then sent him back to bed.  He was dry when he got up for good.

MONDAY-  (I put a diaper on him because he had had A LOT of liquids that night) woke up at 5am with a soaked diaper and PJ's.  After I changed him into underwear and clean clothes he was up for the day :(

TUESDAY - Woke at 1am ran through the house screaming.  By the time I got up to help him he was standing by the toilet so I let him finish and helped him wash his hands and brought him back to bed.  He was dry when he finally woke up for good.

WEDNESDAY- Wanted a diaper when he went to bed, but I told him he was a big boy and he wore underwear to bed like mommy and daddy.  Woke up dry (and as far as I know didn't wake up during the night).

I think the worst is behind us, but I'm sure we still have awhile before I won't have him wear a diaper when we don't sleep at home.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Garden 2012

My garden this year is much like last year.  I still have a few things I want to plant but for the most part got most of it planted last week.  This year I have: spinach, green onions, peas, lettuce (all dead or got eaten), pumpkin, corn, green beans, bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, tomatoes, egg plant, cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumber, acorn squash, and butternut squash.

Most of the seeds I planted are just seeds I had left over from last year.  This year we also invested in a drip irrigation system that I put together.  We found a really affordable kit at Harbor Freight.  I was able to get a few pieces from Home Depot that made it work perfect for us.  It was a lot easier then I thought it was going to be. In the end I think it will pay for itself in just the first year with the water it will save.  I also hear it is a better for the plants.

I tried to start the watermelon, bell peppers, tomatoes, egg plant, cantaloupe, and broccoli from seed inside a few months before I wanted to plant, but they didn't grow very well so I ended up buying tomatoes, and egg plants from a nursery.

I can't wait for it to start producing.

My starts I planted inside in March
Spinach (surrounded by marigolds)
Green Onions (again surrounded by marigolds)
This is where I planted the lettuce, but at this point only one plant was still there.  Right now all of them are now gone.  I'm not sure if they were eaten or just didn't get watered enough.
Our garden (before I put the drip system in)
Garden from the other side

I plan on doing a 1st of the month update for reference during future years.

Max is ONE!

Max is a really sweet boy.  He loves to cuddle.  He is also quiet the chatter box.  I love listening to his jabbering.


He loves to eat peanut butter sandwiches, mac and cheese, bananas, mangoes, pineapple, peas, and carrots

He isn't walking yet, but he can stand for a few seconds.

On his birthday he surprised us by showing us he can now safely go down the stairs.

I didn't really want to stop nursing him, but I have an overnight race coming up so I decided I better wean him before that or else we would both be hating life.  He reluctantly drinks whole milk.

He LOVES to crawl with a car in one hand.

He likes to draw/scribble

He has 7 teeth (4 top, 3 bottom)

He is on the small side (I mean he is REALLY small) - at his 1 year check up these were the stats
  • Height - 2'3.25" (0.00%)
  • Weight - 18lb 4oz (8.87%)
  • Head Circumference - 47.8 (88.49%)
The doctor isn't concerned about him, and just told me to not to plan on a successful basketball career for him. She said he looked good, and was developing well.

For Max's birthday we had cake and ice cream.



Class of 2012

DONE!

It is OFFICIAL I now have my BS in Biology.   I finished my last class on Thursday the 3rd of May, and then walked for graduation on the 4th.  I didn't know if I had actually gotten a good enough grade in my class, but I sure hoped I did for a few reasons.

1-  I really wanted to be done
2-  I didn't want to pay any more money for school
3-  I didn't want to find out I had sat through the graduation ceremonies for nothing.

I finally got my grades the following Monday and found out I had gotten a good enough grade WAHOO.  That feeling was AWESOME!!

I went to both Commencement and Convocation.

Commencement was interesting. They had Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar, speak. He had some great things to say a few of them were: don't be afraid to fail, when there are no disagreements there is no innovation, and chance has a lot to do with success (I see God as he sees chance).  I don't really remember a whole lot from the program.  I had a hard time hearing.  We ended getting there a lot later then we were expecting so instead of sitting with the graduates I sat with my parents, Troy, and the kids.

The Convocation made me NEVER want to go to a science one again.  If I could go back and do it over I would have found out when the fine arts college was doing theirs and gone to theirs.  I'm sure it was at least a little entertaining.  I guess chemists, biologist, and mathematicians are entertained in a rather boring way.  It was dreadful, and felt bad for my supports who had to sit through it especially my two kids.
These guys were so good to sit through such a boring ceremony

Max just wanted Mommy!

Max now has Mommy and his thumb.
My parents were so good to come and support me.
Afterwords we went over to the science building for a little mix and mingle thing. I have to say I felt really proud parading my kids around.  I was never a wonderful student while at the U, but I'm really happy that even with kids I finished.

Parkers Update

It is all fun and games until you get a 3 year old!!! (at least in our house)

Parker is rather difficult to deal with lately.

He has a hard time making his mind up.  I try and give him choices like:  do you want mommy or daddy to help, do you want to go potty up stairs or down, do you want a pink bowl or a green one.  Most of the time it ends in him screaming at me because he keeps changing his mind and I usually just go with the one he said second (in other words I allow him one change of mind).

He is also asks for help with everything.  Much of this is my fault.  I've encouraged him to ask for help, but then it got to a point where he wouldn't even try or would try very little and then ask for help.  In the end I would just do it for him. Up until recently I was fully dressing him, and helping him with everything when he went potty.  The other day he dressed himself and this is what we got

I couldn't have been more proud since he dressed himself.

One thing I know he can do is put on socks, but he often refuses to do it, and he hates to wear his sandals so if he doesn't do it himself I either just put on his sandals or he goes out without shoes which can be seer torture for him if I go for a run and then don't let him get out to play at the park.

One thing I'm not proud of with him is his TV time.  I feel like I've let him watch way too much so I'm now on a quest to cut back.  The first thing he asks for in the morning is a movie, and he will pick a movie over any other activity.  I've spent way too much time and money looking for quality games, toys and puzzles at the thrift store to let them go to waist so my new goal with him is 1 movie a day.  I'm hoping it will help with some of his behavior issues. I will be forced to be more involved with him and maybe these outburst are his way of telling me he wants more interaction.

Parker is REALLY mean to Max at times, but I think it is because he doesn't know how to play with him, so my next goal with him is showing him how to play with Max. I'm sure it is confusing for Parker to see Mommy and Daddy throwing Max in the air and then not being able to do that with him too.

Parker is REALLY AWESOME with shapes. I haven't figures out if it is fluke or not, but he usually correctly identifies octagons, pentagons, and hexagons along with the other more common shapes.  I'm sure that was something I didn't figure out until much later in life.  He is still struggling with numbers and letters, but I've seen a lot of progress with numbers in the last few days he even tries to count it usually goes 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 6 (who needs 4 & 5 right?). We sing the alphabet song every time he washes his hands, but it hasn't show to be helping yet (however I'm hoping it is).  His colors are coming along. I think he can identify them such that if I say get the red block he can do it, but he struggles more if I say what color is this?

Parker is MOSTLY potty trained during the day.  I still has a few #2 accidents, but he has been doing really good, and after many tears he will now do most of it by himself.  He still like me to come in with him, but now he can do most everything by himself. I figured tackling night training would go better if I first got him going by himself during the day.  I'm determined not to buy any more diapers for him, and we still have enough for one a day for the next 3-4 months so at that time we'll him the night time training hard.

It will be interesting  to me over the next few months to see how things with him change.

Monday, April 30, 2012

My First Half Marathon

Throughout high school I would run 1-2 5K's a week during the summer and fall. I remember when I completed my first 10K I was so proud.  Well I have added a new distance to my name.  On Saturday (April 28, 2012) I successfully completed the Thanksgiving Point 1/2 marathon.

Leading up to this I was planning on training properly, but I let life get in the way.  Trying to run with 2 kids usually resulted in a few 3 mile run a week. Occasionally I would go a little farther.  I think I did a hand full of 4 mile runs.  I did do about two 6 mile runs, and one 9 mile run (that I walked the last 2 miles).  The two weeks prier to the race I ran a total of 3 times that resulted in 14 miles. Needless to say I didn't feel really confident going into the race. 

My goal for the race was to finish.  The race required that you maintain at least a 16 min/mile pace.  I figured if I ran the first 10 miles I would be able to walk the last 3 and be just fine.  I figured I would finish in less than 3 hours.

I told Troy although it would nice to have him there to cheer me on.  I didn't think it would be practical to have him get the two kids up before 6am and then entertain them while I was running.  I knew it would be sheer torture for the three of them.  So I was all alone at the race, but that was OK, because there were 2500 other CRAZY runners.

Driving up to the park I saw a sign that said "Marathon parking" with an arrow pointing forward.  Up to this point I hadn't really thought much of what I was about to do. But when I saw that sign.  I thought, "I'm really doing this."  I almost starting crying. I have had a goal to do one for many years, and I couldn't believe I was finally going to accomplish it.

After parking I went and picked up my race number and electronic chip.  The race started at 7am and at this point it was 6:15.  Since it was only about 35 degrees I decided to go listen to music in my car until it was closer to the starting of the race.  I waited until 6:45 and then headed over to the starting line.

They did what is called a choke start, and had people line up according to their self proclaimed speed. I got in near the 2:45 sign.  There I saw a girl I used to run with in high school.  We chatted a little until the start. Slowly the crowd moved forward.  Because of the chock start once I passed over the starting mat I was off.

The race provided pacers so I would know about how I was doing.  I ended up passing the 2:10 (9.55 mile pace) pacer. I figured I would stay in front of that pacer for as long as I could, but didn't expect to finish in front of that pacer.  The race started with a run around Electric Park at Thanksgiving Point and then went into their garden area and then all around the golf course before heading back to the same area the starting line was.  I LOVED running through the gardens. It was pretty and unique.  The golf course was OK at first, but after a few miles of running through greens I was pretty tired of the same old thing.  The course was really hilly, but the hills were short, and I guess because I'm used to pushing a double stroller while I'm running they didn't seem to effect me as much as the people I would pass :).

The race was really well staffed.  They had water/power aid ever 1 1/2 or 2 miles.  They also had GU, oranges, and bananas at about every other aid station.  I would switch off between power aid and water at the water stations, and then every 4 miles or so I would take a GU.  I learned after the first GU to not try and ingest it all at once, but rather nibble it from the pouch.  The first time I squeezed the whole pack of GU in my mouth and about gaged.  I would walk at each aid station until my water/Power aid was gone and then I would start running again.

As I hit mile 2 I thought . . ."There is no way I'm going to do this."  By mile 4 I was feeling really good.  At mile 6 I was thinking, "Man I wish I was doing a 10K.  At mile 7 I though, "SWEET . . .more than half way done."  At mile 8 I wanted to stop, but I knew I shouldn't, because if I did I would never be able to start again.  By mile 10 I was thinking, "I have NEVER run this far before."  At mile 11 my muscles were really tired, and were cramping.  At this point the 2:10 pacer still hadn't passed me so at this point I made it a goal to not let him pass me.  For the next two miles I just put one foot in front of another until I was about 1/2 mile from the finish and I could hear the pacer behind me saying something.  I looked back and there he was. I picked it up and decided to finish strong. 

At the finish line the race clock said 2:10.19. I then went into the sea of delicious after race snacks.  I got: chocolate milk, bottled water, great harvest bread, oranges, bananas, chocolate chip cookies, and white bean and ham soup.  I know I shouldn't have felt like eating, but it was so delicious.  I then checked my official race time and found out I had run it in 2 HOURS 8 MINUTES 19 SECONDS. I finished 512 out of 1109 finishers. And was 45 person in my division and the 265th female finisher.

I walked around for awhile, stretched, and then headed home.   When I got home I told Troy how it went, took a shower, went shopping and then came home and then took a nap.  I wasn't really tired, but my leg muscles were and it hurt to sit, stand, or walk so I figured if I laid on my stomach and took a nap it would give them a little rest.  It felt nice.

In the end I really enjoyed the experience.  I would like to do it again in the future.  The weather was great.  I also learned that I CAN DO IT!  I was once again reminded that I love to race, because it reminds me that I'm not the only crazy person out there that likes to run.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Parker - 3 years old!!!

Love the green smoothie uni-brow and stache


Lov'n the snow

Lov'n the warmth even better

This year Parker really understood what a birthday was. It was so fun to see his eyes light up when he realized everyone was singing to HIM!! When I asked him what kind of a cake he wanted he said, "White and green." He didn't mind I got a little carried away with color.

He must have really liked the cake because he hardly ever uses his hands to eat

At his 3 year check up he was 37 in and 32lbs.

Parker has been talking more. In public, I'm reminded that I know two languages, English and Parkerese. I do a lot of translating, but I think he is getting clearer, and his vocab is increasing. Sometimes his words are a little off like when he calls band aids - rubber bands, or apple sauce - sauce sauce sauce, or a magnifying glass - sun glass. It has been really fun knowing what he says.

Parker has started to like books more and more. Some of his favorites are his Frog and Toad and Curious George books, Are You My Mother?, and Danny and the Dinosaur. He could sit and listen to story after story if I let him. We recently got a Dr Seuss collection book from the library. I read him, If I Ran The Zoo, It was a rather long story, and I thought it was weird, but when I got done he said, "That was a fun story."

He know about half of the alphabet by sight. I sing the ABC song every time he washes his hands, but for the most part he just stares at me.

He can now consistently to count to 2 and occasionally 3 (I know brilliant). I recently started singing 5 Little Monkeys with him, and he fell in love with it so maybe we'll make some progress with numbers soon.

He knows a few colors - Black, White, and Orange. For the longest time I wondered if he wasn't colorblind, because he always got black and white right, but he called everything else pink. We got a game for Christmas that required him to match colors, and he could do that fine so I decided that wasn't the reason for his color confusion.

Parker loves Play do, cars, trains, blocks, Lego's and puzzles.

We also started playing some games together. He has a firm grasp of turning taking and is starting to understand following the rules of the games. The games we play are simple, and I often alter the rules so he can play with little help.

Now that it is getting warmer I'm reminded once again of his LOVE for rocks and sticks. I think our house is slowly filling up with them.

He is AFRAID of heights - a few weeks ago we were in the church parking lot and he started walking over a storm drain and literally froze with fear as he was over it. It was so funny, hopefully he didn't see me laughing as he was struggling with this fear.

He has spider radar and can find the smallest spider. He will then come running to tell me to kill it. Luckily usually the ones he notices are so small even I can tackle them.

Parker loves to play at the playground. He loves to climb, slide, swing, and jump. However it is always more fun when another kid is there. Often we are the only ones there and it gets pretty boring after awhile. We go a few times a week. I works out well that I'm training for a 1/2 marathon and only find it fair that we stop and play at the park during my runs.

On a typical day Parker will eat: a bowl of oatmeal, a banana, a bowl of apple sauce, a whole peanut butter and honey sandwich, an apple, one bite of dinner (unless it is pizza in which case he will eat 2 pieces) and 3-4 glasses of milk.

He is also potty training - it is going good. He is to a point where he will tell me when he needs to go, but still needs/wants help in the bathroom. The problems are going poop in the potty, and going when he is playing outside. I finally found a way to explain the difference between pee and poop to him. He would always say, "I poop again." whenever he would go, but he would only pee in the toilet. Well yesterday I started calling pee - yellow poop, and poop - brown or big poop. I think that will help. He has been really good about going pee, he even has days of no accidents. I haven't tackled night training yet, but he's often fine for nap time, so I'm hopeful for night training.

Parker is 3 and with that comes a lot of frustrations as well. For discipline He responds well to timeouts and counting to 3.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Max - 9 & 10 Months

(No . . . he isn't close to walking I had to strategically place the truck next to the wall so it wouldn't get away from him)

Both these kids love baths

Green smoothy - YUM!!!

At nine months I brought Max to the doctors. At the doctor's appointment they had me feel out a developmental questionnaire. I was instructed to stop when I got to 3 NO's. Well the first three questions were: Does he get to sitting position? -NO, Does he pull himself to standing position? - NO, and Does he say Ma Ma and Da Da (Not necessarily with proper association)? - NO. I'm not sure what the question after that were, because I was done according to their instructions.
Then the Resident training with my doctor came in to check Max out. She got his measurements and at the end showed me his chart. She indicated that she was a little worried because he seemed to have leveled off on growing. I don't remember what the measurements were, but he was in the 5th and 3rd percentiles for weight and height. She wasn't too worried about it, but said it is something they would keep an eye on, but then when she showed the numbers to the actual doctor she ordered that I bring Max in for a weight check in 6 weeks. I'm not too worried about his weight. I find comfort in his rolls of fat. He is REALLY short, but I think that is just a reflection of his 5'1" mom and 5'5" dad.

A week after the appointment Max was saying Ma Ma and Da Da, and getting to both sitting and standing on his own. Also in the last month he has started climbing stairs, doing a more standard crawling, and cruising along the furniture. He has also gone from 2 teeth to 5 with one more to follow shortly.

It is a riot watching Max and Parker wrestle. Surprisingly Max holds his own against Parker, and usually is on top.

He seems somewhat picky when it comes to food. He will pick out what he doesn't like and throw it on the ground. I did introduce him to peanut butter recently which he, like his mom and brother, seems to LOVE.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

End of an Era

In 2003 Troy bought a car that if you would have asked me at the time was OK. It was a 93 Subaru Impreza. There is hardly anything fancy about it, it doesn't even have AWD. We met later that year and the car has been apart of us since then. About 3 years ago the car hit 200,000 miles. I told Troy we should sell it, and by something else that was newer and would be reliable. We have been a one car family for a number of years so having a reliable car is important. After I thought about it awhile we decided that since our Subaru had only been in the shop 3 times since owning it we would just keep driving it until it needed something serious, and then we would just sell it. In the mean time we have been saving for our next car. Well we finally decided the car was NEVER going to die so we decided that we would replace it when we needed something bigger then we would get a van or something like that. Well a few weeks ago we had a family member that was in need of a cheap yet reliable car, so we decided it was as good a time as any to sell our trusty little Subaru.

I'm really going to miss:
*The gas mileage
*Virtually repair free
*Bragging rights that we are driving a car with over 225,000 miles
Upon looking at cars I feel we were blessed to find a good deal on a 2006 Chrysler Town and Country. It has a lot of bells and whistles, and low miles. It was also less then we had saved up so now we have some money in our next car fund. I'm still getting used to the fact that I am now a van mom. We had a little over a week overlap where we owned both cars, and I kept finding reasons to drive the Subaru around. After we brought it home Troy said we sure do have a thing with going from having little to no space to an abundance of space. When we bought our home almost 3 years ago we went from a little, 700 sq/ft, 1 bedroom apartment to our 2000 sq/ft 4 bedroom home. Well now we have gone from our cramped little compact car to our spacious mini van.
When we got done looking at vans we ended up going to a Big Lots and bought a large storage container, and a full size ironing board. When Troy went out to put them in the car he came back to tell me he was afraid they weren't going to fit in our car. They were too long for the trunk and with both kids in the back there wasn't room in the little 1/2 space left. We finally got creative and put the storage container in front passenger seat. I got the 1/2 space in the back, and the ironing board was carefully placed running the length of the car, between me and the door. I though it was ironic how we had been looking at vehicles where we could have easily carried this load times 3, and here we were smashed in our little Subaru.
We are really going to miss our Subaru, and I'm still thrown off when I look in the garage and don't see our trusty Subaru. It will however be nice to have more space when we go camping or even just get groceries. Hopefully in 9 years I will like this van as much as I've grown to love our Subaru.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Parker Bragging Momment & Potty Training

Parker has had quite the monumental day today . . .

1st - He said his first unassisted prayer:
After I gave him his lunch today, I heard Parker say, "Mommy, Daddy, Baby Max, Jesus Christ, Amen" I asked him if he just prayed and he said "Yes"

2nd - He woke up dry from his nap:
I decided one week ago today to start potty training Parker. Until a few days ago I was putting a diaper on him at nap time. So far nap time has resulted in a load of laundry needing to be done. Today he woke up and hadn't wet his pants. YIPEE!!!

We have been at potty training since last Wednesday. I originally was going to wait until I was done with school, but was feeling motivated last Wednesday so we kicked off the experience by buying some underwear. Since that time I have decided to take a somewhat casual approach. When we are home he wears underwear, but if we go out I put a diaper on him. However getting him to want to wear underwear afterwards is harder than when he just wears underwear so I may decide tokeep him in underwear except at night, and while he is being watched when I'm at school.

Right now I just have him sit on the potty every hour or hour and a half and most of the time he goes. I haven't been brave enough to see if he will go on his own. I might just keep doing what I'm doing for a few more weeks, and then start allowing him time to fail and hopefully learn to tell me when he needs to go. I'm guessing I'll need to tweek my reward system when that happens.

His reward system is rather pathetic, but it is working so I feel ok about it. If he sits on the potty he gets to use toilet paper, and then make bubbles with his hands (aka wash his hands). I also cheer for him, which I think makes his day. Yesterday I had school, so he was in a diaper until 4pm. He was in a rather crumby mood most of the day. I'm guessing the joy he feels from the praises he gets for going on the potty carrys over to play time too.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Max - 8 Months!!!


In the last month the following have happened:

*He got his second tooth.
*Got really mobile (mostly via rolling, but he will scoot forward as well)
*Celebrated his first Christmas
*Started sharing a room with Parker
*Has gotten pretty good at feeding himself finger foods (He can down a whole banana)*Likes to play with toys (His favorite is a bouncy ball dinosaur thing he got from Grandma Rueckert for Christmas)

His sleeping schedule has pretty much normalized he is now sleeping from about 8pm or 9pm until 6am or 7am. He then takes a two hour morning nap, and a 1 hour afternoon nap. Part of me wishes he would take his long nap in the afternoon when Parker naps, and part of me like the one-on-one time I get with Parker during that time.

It seems like he is starting to slim a little. I suspect he is MUCH shorter then the average, because I can put 6 month sleepers on him and they fit him just fine. He weighs around 18 lbs. We'll get an "official" weight next month.

He sucks a Binky when he is in bed, but when that isn't available he quickly employs his thumb.

Max is such a GEM. I'm so happy he is my son!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Troy's Cross Country Ski Trip

Troy's family makes a yearly trip up to some yurts (similar to a tent, but a lot sturdier) near Evanston, WY each year. This year since I'm nursing Max, I stayed home, but Troy went.



The whole clan - you can see the yurt on the right

The trip requires a few mile trek to the yurts. Troy's family cross country skies. I'm sure you could snow shoe, but if you have tried both you know cross country skiing is much less work. Troy's family ALWAYS gets there in the dark so once they get to the yurt it is dinner, games, a little night skiing and then off to bed. The next day is the fun day where they find a nice hill and attempt over and over again to do a train with all that are attending. Usually they end in a tangled mess of skies, legs, and an occasional head.


This year there wasn't much snow, but there was enough to enjoy the trip. The ironic part if it snowed the morning after Troy got home. It would have been so nice to have some fresh snow for the trip, but this is just another example of god's sense of humor.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas 2011

This Christmas was fun. We celebrated it out at Troy's parent's house. Due to some scheduling issues we ended going out to Troy's parents to celebrate everything one day earlier than usual. We had the spiritual Christmas on the 23rd. It was great as always. This year two of Troy's siblings lead the discussion. They did a great job, and made me think about two things: 1- What makes a gift special, and 2 - What everyday gifts have God given to me?

They then had their traditional hockey game on the ice in their backyard. I choose to stay inside and finish wrapping gifts, and getting other things ready for Christmas. It would have been nice to go out, but I just felt like I had so much to do that I wouldn't have enjoyed it.

The next morning (Dec 24th) was our Christmas. The tree was packed and family was abundant. Parker was fun this year, however he got tired of unwrapping present. We had to attack the pile in shifts. Next year the plan is one big gift (the goal is a swing set) and a few small things.

The "loot" before the madness began

Max with his stocking (no he didn't get a flashlight, but it did work great as a teething toy)
Parker with his stocking
Parker had a Mater Teeth sucker in his stocking
Some of Parker's top picks:

Bright Builders (Shhh - - Santa found these at the thrift store)
Curious George DVD
Max was as cute as usual, and just sat on the couch and watch all the action while sucking on his Binky. I was surprised he was so content, because I didn't nurse him when he woke up, but I guess with everything going on (and his Binky) he was content.


After a fun day out at Troy's parents we returned home. Christmas morning we woke up and treated like any other morning. We went to church and then went to my family's Christmas party that night.

This year was the year of big gifts for me so. Which made it nice, because then I was able to help the kids with their gifts. I did have a little to open on Christmas, but my biggest gift came a few days after Christmas. We have been wanting a upright freezer for a while, and I had saved a little money for one, but was still short so we decided to spend some of our Christmas money making up the difference and bought one.

In the end the wrapping and the packaging were a hit. One of Parker's gift was actually just a box filled with packaging pillows. He loved every minute of popping the pillows.

video

Parker insisted on climbing in this box. It is hard to see, but it was only about 3 inches wide.
Max enjoying the wrapping paper
Max crawled under the tree. I thought it was a fitting place as he is the GREATEST gift I was give this year.