Tuesday, November 15, 2011

In the Middle, its a little fuzzy

I am right in the middle of trying to get Brea to sleep all the way through the night.  Sleep deprivation does not do nice things for me or Sam. ;)  Ailey, too, has been waking up during the night lately.  She hasn't slept the same since she got croup a little over a month ago.  I am not a fan of letting a baby cry through the night, but man am I tired of not getting any sleep!  So far, I have had the girls in with me so that Sam, at least, will get some sleep.  When both of us are on the sleep deprivation train, well...I'm sure you can imagine.  Its not pretty!  I did let Brea cry through the first part of the first night.  She woke up several times and cried and then went back to sleep on her own.  I fed her around 3 am and then she slept the rest of the night until 7, when Zekes decided to make his debut.  (Still working on that.  My children have not gotten the not-until-after-8am memo.)  Ailey didn't wake all the way up, but she would turn over and put her hand on me every now and then to make sure I was still there and then roll over and continue on with sleeping.  Not bad for the first night, but I was still working the lack of sleep routine yesterday and my attitude was having a hard time being pleasant.  So, I decided to watch the next in the Freedom Classes Foundational Series from Gateway Church.  It is LIFE CHANGING!!  I challenge anyone to go through them all and not come out of it a different being.  AND, that is exactly what happened to me yesterday.  As I made my way through the 3rd class, God was working a miracle in me!  Despite my lack of sleep, energy, motivation, self-control and general peppiness that I started out with, I ended up with all kinds of energy, patience with the kiddos and steadiness throughout the day.  I am so thankful that God gives so freely of Himself!  I truly needed to hear that message yesterday and I absolutely needed more of my Lord, Savior, Redeemer, Healer, Master, Creator and His joy in which my strength is found!  Praise You, Father!

Last night was even better.  Brea went to sleep and then Ailey and I followed suit and she slept until 5am!  Yay!  I fed her, put her back in her bed and she slept until 7.  I'm thinking the kids have a conspiracy to NOT sleep past 7.  Ugh.  BUT, I was soooooo grateful for the continuous hours of sleep last night.  Woohoo!!!!  Yippee!!!  Ailey did her reassurance routine and slept very well.  I am excited to see how tonight goes.  I want to be consistent for 5 nights to break the habits that have been formed.  Of course, I have been covering all of this in prayer, asking the Lord to HELP!!!  Tonight will be no different and today is going to be full of rejoicing!  I'm also excited to hear session four of the Freedom class!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

That Other Kid

I've stumbled upon a delightful tactic with my older two kiddos, Braden and Zekes.  Braden, especially, has a hard time with his attitude and heart when things do not go as planned or if he gets angry.  He comes by it honestly, I'm sad to say!  He follows in my footsteps.  When I am upset, I want to sit in it until I am done.  I don't want to be happy or have a good attitude, I want to finish out my irritation, frustration or anger first. ;)  (Vanessa, I still remember you trying to get me out of my bad moods and vice versa.  Fun times!)  As I was encountering this situation with Braden for the who-knows-what-time, I told him that I don't like it when that other kid comes to visit.  I told him that I like my Braden and that other kid needs to go back to his house.  The result?  Instant smile!  Followed by much giggling.  Awesome!  I shared the technique with Sam and we have both been employing it and I must say, we are pretty excited!

I used it with Zekers this morning and it was a beautiful thing!  The winds of heart change, they are a blowin'!  I am also learning to pray with them when they are having a hard time gaining self-control.  That is one of the fruits of the spirit and the Holy Spirit gives it freely as well as the ability to make the choice to want it.  I want them to learn that no matter what is going on in their lives, good, bad or eh, that if we continually ask the Lord into it, invite Him to be a part of every moment of our day, that He GLADLY joins us, guides us and encourages us.  It also causes us to seek Him BEFORE we make decisions to see if we should even be doing whatever in the first place.  We can truly rest in waiting on Him and walking the path He has set before us!  That is peace!  Its a slow process because I am still a work in progress, too, and I have to change my heart and attitude and built-in reactions to situations, as well.  I'm excited!  Bring on the pruning!

Gearing Up

I have been in super crafting mode.  I have the opportunity to have a table at our local Farmer's Market - Christmas edition.  I have a list of things I want to make and I intend to just go down the list and see what I can get done.  I have a little over two weeks left.  I am going to have toddler tutus, scarves and neck warmers, towel holders, rolled flower bow/pins, baby blankets, spaghetti sauce, apple butter, cookies, friendship bread and pumpkin and banana bread.  I may be able to make waffles, too, but we'll see.  I'm thinking about adding lip balm, but I really need to get my recipe firmed up before I do that.  I should also probably write it down...same goes for my apple butter recipe. ;)  I'm really bad about not doing that. Anyway, these are the items I've gotten done so far:

Like my toilet paper rolls in the background? ;p

Ribbons will be added to the tutus..

Still have to edge the baby blanket

I had to take some pics of Zekes in the hat I made for Ailey.  It fits his head better than hers and I was trying to show someone how it looks.  He's a willing guinea pig. ;)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Braden's First Six Weeks

Whew!  We made it through the first six weeks of school!  Braden is really doing well and I am starting to get used to being lots more structured in how we do school here.  I decided a certificate was in order, so I made one up and printed it out on card stock and presented it to him.  We got a shot of it.

I'm going to rework the certificate a little bit...I'm not quite satisfied with it, but I like adding this to the reward system.  I hung it on our dining room wall, since that is our school room, too. :)  Sam is really doing an excellent job being Braden's math teacher.  I am so glad he's doing that subject with Braden instead of me.  I learned math in a round about way and I'd rather Braden learned it way better than me!  I'm pretty sold on Sonlight and intend to start Zekes on it next year for Kindergarten.  Braden was having issues holding his pencil and writing.  He was holding it using all four of his fingers to guide the pencil and he was moving his whole arm and wrist to write.  I had my mom and Aunt Kathy (both Occupational Therapists!) take a look-see and my Aunt Kathy had him try a few things and then I implemented one of them pretty strongly at home every time he writes and it has made a huge difference!  Right now, he puts the pencil between his first and middle fingers with his thumb supporting from behind to train him to set his pencil on that middle finger and to use those three fingers to guide his pencil.  He tried writing with his first finger on the top of the pencil in correct form and he did really well for a bit, but still wasn't there all the way yet.  I think it will be soon, though!  He also remembered another technique that Aunt Kathy had him try that he wasn't able to at the time and when he tried it again without any sort of prompting from me, he was able to do it very well and was extremely excited about it!  I really enjoy that about him!

Right now, Zekey is doing a great job of learning his letters.  He's already got his numbers 1-10 down and we are working on 11-20.  He knows all his colors and shapes and matching and sorting and all that good stuff.  He enjoys doing school work, too, only in smaller increments.  He's really funny because he'll have hardly done anything and he'll ask if he can take a break.  He so loves to do what Braden does.  Ailey goes into stealth mode and will take a page out of Zekey's workbook and draw on it.  She likes doing school, too. ;p  Here are some pics of her using a particularly interesting writing technique:

That's my girl! :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Here we go...again...

Throughout the past decade, God has really been working on me.  (Or more correctly, I've been open to Him working on me. ;)  There are so many things I used to do that now hold no sway for me.  I have no or very little interest in them anymore.  I don't watch movies with an R rating because of language or nudity or both and I really don't need all the violent mess either.  The same goes if it has witchcraft or magic as being good in it or that somehow the source of it is human developed or evolved or some other non-sense.  Depending on what the message is, mostly I won't watch something with witchcraft or magic at all because I really don't need that in my mind in any shape or form.   If its PG-13, I find out why.  If there's any sort of nudity or compromising relational scenes in it, its an abolute no-go.  I have no tolerance for gratuitous violence, language or scenes involving exposure of body parts and no commitment beyond getting to the goal of self satisfaction.  Even if there is a commitment, why must I see what someone else does with it?!  No thanks!  Why must I rant on about this?  Well, do let me share!

I gave up a lot of shows several years ago.  Anyone who's known me for a long time, knows I have seen way too many movies and tv shows in my time so far.  Sam and I agreed to rid ourselves of cable and satellite due to the graphic nature of most shows, not to mention the commercials!  I went to just going to certain channel websites to watch specific shows, for which I had an appreciation.  We also have Netflix for the occasional veg out session.  Here are the ones that I kept up with:  Psych, Eureka, Warehouse 13, Sanctuary, Haven and there are occasional shows on Masterpiece Theater that I like to watch.  Basically, all of these have been nixed for me recently due to the content falling into one of the above categories.  I was watching the latest episodes of Eureka and Warehouse 13 and I really just felt God saying to me to really look at what I was watching.  I had felt Him trying to get my attention about it, but to be honest,  I really liked the shows and didn't want to give them up.  God is so patient with me and He just gently persisted and finally, I listened. :)

This last season on Eureka, the sex content has skyrocketed. Not one episode goes by that doesn't have something to do with that.  The sad part to me is, it really isn't necessary.  The premise of the show is funny and quirky and enjoyable.  Why, oh, why did they have to start adding gunk in there?  If it is for ratings sake, I'm going to go with a huge, "Oh, Please!!!" on that because the show has a following and people were already hooked on it for the funny quirkiness.  Now, Warehouse 13's premise was along the same funny, quirky lines, but really deals with the paranormal without admitting it in the show itself.  Interesting.  This may sound odd, unreal or outlandish to some, but its very real for me.  I don't want what I watch to open any door for the enemy (meaning demons a.k.a. satan and his cronies) to have any sort of influence in this house or my family!  Yuck!

Okay, so I just knew as I watched it that I shouldn't be.  Psych - same funny, quirkiness.  There's a whole bunch of silliness in that show that I really enjoy and appreciate, but throughout the seasons the sex content has escalated.  Also, the language has continually gotten stronger and more frequent.  Again, not needed.  Alas, it too, must go.  Sanctuary - along the same lines and issues of Warehouse -13.  Haven has an eeriness to it that just didn't sit right.  I always liked X-Files and it has that kind of feel to it.  Masterpiece Theater has plenty of the no-gos from above without any sort of warnings.  Its nearly like it thinks it can get away with airing that stuff just because its on PBS and because its usually a British-made show of some sort.  Now, I will say that they aren't all like that and there have been many enjoyable shows without all the extraneous, yucky mess included.  Anyway, basically, its about protecting my mind, heart and home and those shows have all kinds of stuff in it that does the exact opposite.  So, I don't need them.  There is a freedom there knowing that I don't have to be held captive by things like that, but I will admit that its disappointing because I do like to veg out on occasion with a good flick and my options are getting less.  That's fine, though, because the benefit outweighs the hardship/sacrifice. :)  Oh, and the best thing is, I know I am blessing my Father God's heart by submitting to Him in all of this and you just can't beat that!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Brea the explorer

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Who Needs a Foodsaver...

When you have storage baggies and a straw?!  It works so I'm not gonna knock it!  I've been separating things and putting them in the freezer and I'm appreciating my handy straw and baggies team. :)

In other news, we went to the doctor again today.  Yeah, I told him we should just camp out there because it was becoming a daily habit.  Anyway, this time was for Zekey's well kid and to have Braden's hands looked at.  Zekey is 37 lbs and 9 oz and 42".  Braden didn't get his height done because it was not a well check for him, but his weight is 50 lbs 3 oz.

When Zekes got his temp. check, he had a bit of a fever and then when the doc took a look, he found both ears with an infection. :(  Not a new occurrence, but we will be doing some more garlic and onion ear drops.  Zekers also had to get three shots.  He hadn't had any since he was two-ish, so his face alternated between shock, horror and anguish.  Poor Zekey!  He only cried during the process and for a few seconds afterward, but some toys and a sucker later, he was right as rain. ;p

I love our kids' doctor!  He is very much a let's-give-em-meds-if-they-need-it-and-try-alternative-routes-if-we-can.  He doesn't ever scoff at my alternative measures and most of the time he is already aware of them and just supports and encourages.  That is such an unusual stance for a doctor and I feel very blessed to have him as our pediatrician!  Point in case - Braden's hands have many warts on them.  I know this can be a sensitive subject, but  we don't make a big deal out of it and he knows the facts of what they are and why we are trying to get rid of them.  He also knows that both Sam and I have dealt with them.  Sam had them when he was little and I had a very pesky one when I was around 12-ish.  I got mine frozen off and Sam had to get his burned off.  So, today, Braden got two of them frozen.  The doctor and I discussed several options and I ended up liking the idea of just aiming at one on each hand and seeing if it will jump start an immune response for the rest of them.  If it doesn't work, we'll probably either go in on occasion to get several frozen off at a time or the nurse had an interesting suggestion.  She said her daughter had lots on her fingers and nothing really worked until she went to see the dermatologist and he injected yeast into them.  Same principle at work - trying to get the body to realize there is an infection there and to attack it.  We'll see what happens.        

Hopefully, we are done with the doctor trips for a while. :)