Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I have slacked off from my blogging efforts.  I tell you...it has been a busy month.  Not just busy as in running from here to there, but emotionally exhausting with all the changes of having a kindergartener.  

Ian started kindergarten on August 20th!  They start them early out here in the corn fields.  He has since come to LOVE school.  He has such a passion for going every morning it's inspiring.  It was hardest on mommy.  I didn't want him to leave me, even though I knew it would be good for all of us and he was oh so ready.  

I was most nervous for him to take the bus.  I don't know why, but I felt a lack of control simply putting him on a bus and saying, "bye!  see ya later!"  But honestly, it's been so good for him.  He loves riding the bus.  It makes him feel independent and it's something only he gets to do.  So even though the bus stop is around the corner and down the street, the walks back and forth have been enjoyable, because I have a happy kid!  And Dalton loves going to the bus stop but also wants to go on the bus too!  

Now the first week was not easy on this mommy.  The first day after he got on the bus, Rich and I had walked him down to the bus stop.  As the bus pulled away, I burst into tears.  I think it was just a release of all these emotions of this day building up inside of me.  And finally, it happened and I missed him and I had to just let him go.  So Rich being the sweetheart that he is, looked at me and said, "do you want to follow the bus?"  Of course I did!  So we sat far enough back from the school, just to see that the bus had made it and that their were people out in the parking lot helping kids off the bus.  For some reason I thought he would be left out to dry.  But they did a great job with him.

Dalton also had a milestone in his preschool life.  He started last week!  He is attending the same preschool Ian went to last year.  He has his teachers and they seem to love Dalton.  Even though he is in constant motion.  Dalton does not ever sit still.  But they are extremely patient with him.  But I had warned them this was my concern with Dalton.  I wrote it all over his "Tell Us About Your Child" Forms:  What does your child enjoy doing: "running and moving"  What does your child dislike: "Sitting still and time-outs", List your child's interests: running, What do you want your child to learn this year: "sitting still and listening"  You get the picture.

The other cool thing about having Ian in kindergarten is that I do get some fun alone time with Dalton.  Although he gets bored without Ian and requires more attention I think it's been positive.  

 Rich and I had a lot of special time with Ian and now it's Dalton's turn.  We're all enjoying it.  

But I have to say I miss my baby moments with the boys.  They are so busy and strong-willed I don't get a lot of cuddle time anymore with them.  The Lord knows this and has provided me with time with my boys where I can see they still need their mommy's nurturing.  This morning Ian got in bed with us and I sat up and he just wanted me to hold him.  So I did.  He just melted into my arms and I rubbed his back and he just needed some time with his mommy.  It warmed my heart and help get me ready for my day.  There is definietly something to building your child's self-confidence when they know how much they are loved. 

So that is what we've been up to!  This week starts off our real routine now that Bible Study, MOPs and Soccer are all starting!  Not to mention my Scentsy stuff keeps me busy and I have an event this weekend.  So there is never a dull moment in these parts! 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Odd Life of Ian and Dalton

So I'm finding that we are winding up summer around here.  I'm happy and sad.  I'm so excited for Ian and so sad that he's old enough to head to school.  We've also signed them up for soccer.  It's like my life has changed so drastically...school?  soccer?  When the heck am I going to just get to lay around and live the life of leisure? 

But it's for the best don't you think?

They are getting bored...
And starting to scare me a little with their form of summer fun. 
We got a new computer and all they want to do is sit in front of it and leave weird pictures of themselves on it for us to see. 
And as creative as they are...I guess all fun must end and learning must begin! 

So a week from tomorrow, I will put my 6 year old on a school bus and be brave and not cry until the bus pulls away.  And then we'll post pictures of my emotional break down.  Because goodness knows that will be more entertaining for most readers than a happy kindergartener leaving his family behind to head off into the world. 

And on that note!  Have a great week :-)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ian's Lunch

Oy vey!  I am getting ready to send my newly turned 6 year old to kindergarten.  I am so not ready for this.  But I'm trying this week to get myself together.  He's excited and thankfully I don't have to worry about emotionally prepping him as much as myself.  My husband is working with me as well... ha ha!  He's trying to be supportive.  Tonight we go and meet his teacher. 

Honestly I'm dumbfounded by the amount of stuff I'm required to have to do to send him to a simple classroom.  Thankfully he is done being immunized and has registered.  But I am so confused on school supplies, does he need a new backpack or can he use the one from last year, will he be happy with his Darth Vader lunch box or does he need a new one and what is up with this school uniform policy?  Ugh.  I love it and hate it.  He can't wear anything he owns so he's going to be the lovely owner of several pairs of brown and blue pants and about 10 plain polo shirts.  :-) 

So I was going to sit down and make a list of everything I need to do before August 20th, his first day.  Which by the way...I hate that more and more school start in August.  AUGUST!  It's like they lost the last two weeks of summer.  Oh well.  Instead of a list and continuing to complaining  I decided to research ideas on brown bag lunch ideas.  I don't think I want him to buy lunch.  That seems ridiculous. 

As I was reviewing ideas on brown bag lunch ideas, it must have slipped from my attention that children in schools were now being sent to school with options fit for a celebrity on a vegan raw diet.  My word.  Some of the things I found were ridiculous ideas for children.  If I sent my kid to school with a mozzarella, tomato and basil sandwich on Foccacia bread he might get beat up.  I'm not saying I want to give him PB&J everyday, but come on.  Some of these people who have written articles online must be living on the moon.  Because they are well ahead of my child's taste buds. 

And as much as I love the idea of soups packed up well in a thermos and giving it to be son I hate the idea of soup all over his "uniform" clothing.  I have seen him eat soup. 

So I was happy to have found a mom online who had some practical ideas that I could run with.  In the past I have always purchased conveniently packaged foods like applesauce cups, yogurts in the small packages etc.  But after reading this ladies ideas, I came up of a few of my own so I wanted to list all my fun ideas for Ian's lunch! 

It's important in saving money since he'll be going everyday to have some containers to put some of the food in, instead of buying individual containers.  So I am planning on getting the "Take Along" brand by Rubbermaid, I think.  They twist on and off instead of snap which will hopefully avoid messes.  I'm also going to get some of the plastic sandwich boxes which will hopefully help keep sandwiches from smashing and can also be used for making your own lunchables! 

Main Courses:

1)  Sandwiches:  Obvious.  But I heard about these Sandwich Sealers and Decrusters.  At first I thought they sounded stupid since my kids eat the crust.  But they apparently keep the sandwich together better and neater.  And you can make your own PBJ Uncrustables which kids love. 

2)  Thermos Meals:  I probably won't do this right away until Ian gets bored.  But I like the idea of getting a Stainless Steel thermos that you can put Mac and Cheese in or other (non-liquid) leftovers.  Again, soup for my kids is a bad idea in public, but maybe your kid is different. 

3)  Lunchables.  I have bought them only on occasion when they were on sale.  My kids like them.  They don't beg for them.  But I like the idea of making up my own for Ian's lunch.  Take a plastic sandwich container and add your own cut up meat and cheese, put the crackers in a snack size bag to keep them from getting soggy and add a treat like a cookie or granola bar to really snaz it up.

Healthy Sides:

1) Applesauce Cups (make your own and save)
2) Yogurt Cups (ditto to the above)
3) Fruit Cups (you get the idea)
4) Dried Fruit Mix - Take Banana Chips, Raisins and Pretzels or Dried Cherries, Animal Crackers and Dried Mango...mix it up.  Use the snack size baggies for good portion control.
5) Carrots and Hummus or Dip of your choice

Yummy Snacky Sides:

1)  Jello or Pudding Cups (you can make these as well for a fraction of the cost of buying them) and you can make the sugar free version to make them better for your kids. 
2) Animal Crackers - mix up the plain with the chocolate and blow your kids mind at your creativity.
3) Goldfish - in case they miss preschool snacks. 
4) Homemade Goodies (mini muffins, mini cookies etc.) - Freeze them and put them in your kids lunch and they will have defrosted by lunch :-)  Use a snack size baggie for portion control.
5) Chips - I will probably not do chips, but if I do I would do the baked and I believe Pringles makes a good baked chip.
6) Rice Krispie Treats!  They are just good. 


1) Juice Boxes - I avoid juice with the boys because it's not good for their teeth and it's just unnecessary calories for them.  But on occasion they have them and obviously they are really convenient when pressed for time.

2) Milk Boxes - I may look for a brand I like and price it.  But I may also just make my own.

3) Water - Probably the best alternative.  You can get those really cute little bottled waters at Aldi and get like 24 for the cost of one 6 pack of  juice boxes.

That's it.  Those are my ideas!  Counting down the days til school starts!!!  Not happily...but willingly :-)

Happy Birthday Ian!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Love and Loss: Our Third Baby

I wrote this months ago.  And I wasn't ever going to publish it.  But yesterday I was talking to our neighbor and she was telling me something about her daughter in law and well...this subject came up.  And it brought back some memories...not that I will ever forget this.  So here it is.  This is in a way a memorial for my third baby who would have been due in about a month...and hopefully maybe encourage someone out there who has walked through this. 

We found out at the beginning of the year that we were pregnant.  We were surprised and very happy.  It's hard after you find out you are expecting not to get excited and think about those ten little fingers and ten little toes.  And think about baby names and how you're going to reconfigure your home to accommodate a baby.  It's hard not to think about your little boys BOTH being big brothers.  You tell a few people but say, "it's still really early so don't say anything" but you secretly want to tell the world because you're so excited.

I went to see the doctor at 7 weeks.  It was on January 24th.  I was almost positive of my ovulation dates.  I also suspected something wasn't quite right.  I told the doctor that this pregnancy felt different.  I didn't have any morning sickness and I just didn't feel pregnant yet.  The doctor looked at me and said, "well, when most women say what you just said 9 times out of 10 there instincts are right."  So he proceeded to prepare me to do an ultrasound.  I sat there on the table alone waiting for the doctor to come in to do the ultrasound.  I kept telling myself it was all going to be okay.  I still felt my instincts were probably not accurate and I was overreacting.  I thought I would most likely see a little flicker of a baby on the screen and know that all was okay.

The doctor and nurse came in to do the ultrasound.  He couldn't find anything at first.  Then he saw the sac.  Now I never know what the heck they are looking at on the screen, but I did see the sac and I breathed a sigh of relief when they found the sac.  But the doctor said he didn't see anything in it.  At 7 weeks they should see something.  So he thought maybe my dates were off.  I knew they weren't off.  But I didn't know what else to do.  He didn't want to say there was no baby, but he didn't want to prolong anything for too long.  So we scheduled another ultrasound in a week to recheck everything.  But I knew.  I knew there was no baby growing in the sac.  And a week later when I went in to be rechecked...the sac was smaller.  There would not be a baby.

Basically what we found out had happened was that the embryo implanted but the baby did not develop.  By the time I went back for the second ultrasound I was beginning the process of the miscarriage.  I want to say that it was all okay, it didn't bother me.  But that was not the case.  After the first ultrasound, I called Rich who was with the boys and I told him.  He was out with the boys and I told him to take his time.  I went home from my appointment.  As I drove home tears were flowing.  I told myself how much I hated myself.  How I couldn't even produce a healthy baby.  I have no idea where that all came from, I think I was just mad and started to blame myself.  I walked in the door to an empty house and I went to my bedroom, shut the door and crawled under a blanket.  I wept.

After the second ultrasound, which confirmed that indeed I was in the middle of a miscarriage I decided I had to just be strong and get through it.  After all, we were leaving on vacation in a week and I didn't know how I was going to do a miscarriage and go on vacation.  But I would.  As I went to the desk to checkout  after the second ultrasound the receptionist, who is a very sweet lady, handed me the appointment information form to sign.  I never really read those things, but for some reason I glanced at it.  And I saw the diagnosis given to be submitted to my insurance company.  It said, "Spontaneous Abortion."  Maybe my face dropped, maybe she saw pain in my eyes, but the receptionist noticed me looking at the form and said softly, "I can take that if you don't want to take it with you."  I smiled as strong as I could and said, "yeah, I don't need to keep that."

I knew I had to get through going through this miscarriage and I didn't even know how it was all going to happen and how bad it would be.  I didn't want to have a DNC, I wanted it to be natural.  I felt especially after reading the words, "spontaneous abortion" that yes, let's let this be "spontaneous."  If the Lord is going to give me a child and then take the child I do not want to interfere with His will and I don't want a doctor going in and trying to remove it.  I don't know why I felt that way, but I just did.

I managed to get through a 3 week miscarriage.  It was not pretty at times.  I was in no real pain physically, it was just kind of a nuisance and I was very exhausted through the entire process.

About 2 or 3 weeks after the miscarriage was over, I allowed myself to grieve.  I think it took that long because I had to compartmentalize the physical aspect of the miscarriage and the emotional part.  I questioned so many things about the pregnancy.  Was I ever really pregnant?  Was there a real soul in me or was it just an "embryo" that didn't have life in it.  I know many people have differing opinions on it.  I didn't know what to think.  I wanted so badly to believe it was a real life.  Because I was feeling real grief.  I missed the baby.  I truly missed the life that was in me.  No matter what I chose to believe, all that really mattered was that God knew.  He knew all.  And through my grief, He brought me into this place of peace and clarity.

My healing came from accepting that the embryo that did not grow, WAS a soul that was taken to heaven.  I wrote a letter to my baby.  My 3rd child that went straight to live with Jesus.  Maybe I was being over-dramatic.  I didn't want to be overly emotional over the whole thing, after all, it's not like I saw the baby.  It's not like I ever held the baby.  I didn't even have a name for the baby or know if it was a boy or a girl.  But I had loved this baby for a few weeks and I just felt empty.  In the letter I made sure that my baby knew that my sadness over losing him or her was not because I just wanted another baby...but my grief was because I wanted him or her so much...not just another baby.  I wanted to know that baby.  And it made me sad that I wouldn't have that chance on earth.  And understanding and realizing that fact in my heart, gave me peace and clarity to move on.

Rich and I talked about having a baby after the miscarriage.  We talked about trying again for another baby.  And every time I turned around, I heard someone else was pregnant.  Seriously, more people were expecting babies about the time I was planning on announcing our pregnancy.  And I kept seeing and hearing about babies being born from friends of mine. But as Rich and I talked,  it did not seem right for our family to add a 3rd baby, just because we had miscarried this one.  We knew the stressors we felt when finding out we were expecting a 3rd baby.  We knew that health wise for me it may not be the best thing, even though I would have happily walked through it.  We knew the financial stress. But making that decision not to "try" again was hard for me, but I knew it was the right decision.  And God has given me a lot of peace from the decision but at times I still wrestle with it.

There is a bigger picture to all of this. I don't believe we walk through anything in life without reason.  I may not know the reason I even had a glimpse of having a 3rd baby, and not have it come to fruitition.  I don't know why the obvious choice of just trying again for another baby, didn't set well with Rich or I.  I may never have all the answers.  But I do know that God's plans are greater than my own.  And being a mom has always felt to me to be the ultimate...but...but...the ultimate in MY plans.  There are other plans out there for me.  And of course I am a mom.  I have two gorgeous boys, who in all reality are both walking miracles given my medical history.   And my two boys keep me on my toes.

After this decision of not "trying" to have a baby after the miscarriage I kept on having nagging feelings of discontentment.  And they were not from God.  I was (and still am at times) tested by what I know to be true and what outside influences put in my mind.  I think about the Duggars and their 19 Kids and how they just have trusted the Lord to give them as many children as he choses.  And aas much as I respect the Duggars and love their show and admire their beliefs.  I think that the kind of birth control system they have is not in the Lord's plan for everyone.  Let's face it...God can use a mommy of 19 children but he also can use a mommy of two children.  And the logistics of using a mommy of two children is a lot less complicated.  Not that anything is too difficult for God.  But when I thought about how God was going to use my life...it all seemed clear to me that he could use me a lot better, if I ended the chapter in my life of birthing babies.   We still would consider adoption.  But the Lord needs to open more doors for that.

In closing on this post, I am so grateful that I had a glimpse of having a third child.  And I pray that someday when I get to heaven, I may have the delight to embrace that child of mine that the Lord chose to take from us here on earth.  But I am grateful.  So very grateful to the Lord for bringing me through the whole ordeal with a much sunnier outlook on heaven and life beyond the world we live in.

"He gives and takes away, he gives and takes away, but my heart will choose to say, 
Lord Blessed Be Your Name."

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

August...oh no.

I haven't been blogging much as I have had a busy last few weeks.  Summer seems like it's come and gone and I just have odd feelings over summer.  It's been boring the weeks the kids and I have been home, yet I hate to see summer go so fast.  We have a kindergartener in our midst and he starts August 20th!   I am not ready to let go of my oldest Stinker Pinker.  I kind of want him to stay with me, yet I know I need to let him go.  He was just a baby like yesterday.  Even though I know the years of raising him to get to this point have seemed long at times.  I am super happy he's only starting kindergarten and not college! 

I was kind of moping around today.  We just got back home Monday, from being gone for a week.  We dropped the boys off at my parents and Rich and I flew out to Las Vegas to the Scentsy convention.  It was an amazing four days.  Loved every minute.  Missed the kids.  So we were happy to see them on Saturday. 

At the convention my head was spinning with all the new announcements and additions Scentsy is making to their product lines and new brands.  I was suppose to feel energized after attending convention but I felt myself today feeling overwhelmed. 

It hit me tonight after chatting with Rich, that I am sad.  Sad over kindergarten, Ian turning 6 and having to enroll him in soccer.  I should be so excited about all these new things for him.  He is excited!  But for me I'm just trying to process how this sweet little baby boy is turning into such a young man almost.  Yes he's still a boy.  But his heart and spirit are developing at such a mature level.  Even though his actions and mannerisms are age appropriate, he has thoughts and visions that to me are very much beyond his 6 years.  His relationship with God is so sweet.  He knows Jesus and he is such a little preacher at times.  Trying to hone this "gift" for lack of a better word, so he continues to be sensitive to differences among people is something I have been working on with him.  But I'm so proud of who he has become. 

But back to my sadness.  I guess it's really not sad that I have to let him go because he's ready.  It's probably me being selfish.  I don't like to share my Ian.  But I'm super proud of him and can't wait for him to learn and grow.  We didn't start him in kindergarten last Fall because the cut off date was August 1st and he is an August 8th birthday.  We decided he was on the brink and to give him another year.  We are happy we did. 

My ability as a mom to raise him and continue to be there for him will hopefully reflect positively on who he grows in to become.  And so far, I like what I see.  And we will all make it past this hurdle we are facing this month.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Bacheloerette: Overnight but not really Dates!

So I have been not blogging about the Bachelorette for a few reasons.  But I will give you my take on things as where we have them now.  Tonight was her overnight dates with her final three, Sean, Jef and Arie.  They are on the beautiful island of Curacao.  My problem right now is that I love all three guys are Emily at this point.  Even Jef.  Jef has surprised me over the last few weeks.  He is sweet and intelligent and oddly getting more attractive to me. 

1st date with Sean.  Sean and Emily go to a private island and Emily is concerned Sean hasn't really said his true feelings.  Sean wants to tell her he loves her but he knows it's hard to tell a girl that.  Which is concerning to Emily.  And on the beach Sean didn't give Emily a lot of indication if he is in love with her.  But they did go snorkeling.   Can Sean though really be in love this soon?  It could take a long time for some guys. 

So at dinner Emily asks him again.  And he doesn't want her to have any fears.  So Sean wrote Ricki a letter and read it to Emily.  It was weird because they aren't married or engaged.  But Sean professes his dedication to them in the letter.  It was sweet I guess. 

FINALLY after Emily looked at him longingly all day, Sean tells her he can't stop thinking about her and that he has fallen in love with her.  But I felt like he as really nervous and strange tonight.  But they went to the Fantasy suite and hot tubbed it.  But she ended up not spending the night with him, because she wanted to set an example for her daughter.  But that was okay with Sean...he's going to marry her. 

2nd date with Jef.  They went on a boat.  Jef is 100% he wants to be with Emily, but he knows there are two other guys.  He is the only guy saying "if."  Jef is pretty much the only intelligent guy here.  I mean he is above average intelligent.  He is thinking through the whole situation with Ricki and feels very balanced with her.  I like the way their relationship has developed.  My only fear for Jef is that Emily's aspirations for being a celebrity and money could ruin it.  But let's not get ahead of ourselves. 

Emily appears her age with Jef.  She deserves that in a way, she always looks so old and stuffy...but with Jef she tries to be younger or at least act like a 26 year old. 

So they have dinner.  And let's be honest, watching Sean at dinner was like watching a deer in headlights...Jef had questions and was intelligent and thoughtful.  It's nice to see.  Loved Jef's question about "you're hot and amazing, why has it not worked out with anyone???"  Basically they talked about how perfect the other person is.  But then Jef asked the sweetest question, "am I a good fit for Ricki?"  I thought that was a good and genuine question. 

Then there was the fantasy suite card.  Jef didn't want to disrespect Emily and put her in a bad situation as she is a mom.  They decided to go and spend some time together but not spend the night.  Emily was funny, that Jef turned him down because she was going to say the same thing.  So they "bridaled their passions."  Sounds like something my friend MacBeth would have said. 

3rd Date with Arie.  Arie is super nuts for Emily.  And I have loved Arie from the beginning.  But they seriously make out way too much.  He is super intense.  On their date they were on a catamaran and swam with dolphins.  Emily admits all they do is kiss.  But since I know what it's like to be in a relationship when all you do is kiss and not stop long enough to actually learn their name...totally kidding!  I think the problem with Arie and Emily is that they don't really know each other. 

So at dinner, Emily asks him "I don't know what you do on like a Tuesday morning."  It was interesting watching them learn about each other and talking while they aren't making out.  Arie doesn't ask a lot about Ricki.   But he finally asks some questions and shares his ideas on warming up to Ricki and being a father figure.  So it was a good thing. 

So the fantasy suite card is there but not.  She decides not to give him the card...because she doesn't trust herself.  Good decision.  Arie is a make out king...but he appears to be good at it.  Whoa.  He is hot. 


Emily is struggling because she had three perfect dates.  I agree.  She made some good decisions on her final three.  Emily gets to see three videos from the guys to remind her how hot Sean and Arie are and how intelligent Jef is.   Ultimately, she struggles with it, but let's Sean go. 

Here is how her thought process went (in my mind):  If I get ride of Jef, I'll look stupid and if I get rid of Arie I will miss kissing him.  But if I get rid of Sean...well...he took the longest to tell me he loved me.  So....I guess Sean has to go.

Goodness.  I would hate to be in her shoes.  She seriously had some good looking guys.  But none of them compare to my husband so I guess I end up the lucky one tonight.