Sunday, January 30, 2011
- Big Sis arrived three years later. I vowed that I would never make the mistake I made with her older brother. I did nurse her before sleeping but if she woke up when I laid her down, I wouldn't pick her back up. We had some crying, but nothing like before.
- Baby Girl was born four years after that. By this time, I was so busy with three other kids. I laid her down in bed awake because I didn't have time to rock and cuddle with her. She learned to sleep on her own and did great.
- As a newborn, Son #1 was put on a strict schedule. I determined it by his needs. He ate at 10:30, 2:30 and 6:30, morning and night. He nursed for 10 minutes on each side, which got bumped up to 12 minutes if he was going through a growth spurt. He never spit up and was always pleasant.
- Son #2 had me wrapped around his finger. He would nurse at all times of the day and night, usually for 2 to 5 minutes each feeding. I got so exhausted that I started putting him in bed with me, something I swore I would never do. I would wake up to find him sleeping soundly in a big puddle of spit up. He would nurse until we both fell asleep and never got burped. I cleaned up a lot of spit up.
- With Big Sis, again I vowed not to raise her like her brother. She didn't eat on schedule like Son #1, but I refused to nurse her every hour.
- Baby Girl's newborn feeding was a nightmare. I had an overactive thyroid during pregnancy that I wasn't aware of. Even though I looked good and skinny, I had no milk supply. I sat in the hospital crying, holding a screaming baby that I couldn't soothe. I had to start her immediately on formula, which she inhaled greedily. I was overcome with guilt and depression at the thought of not being able to provide for my own baby. At this point, I would have gladly traded places with myself seven years ago when I was nursing every hour.
- Son #1 was only fed baby food until he was close to a year. When we started with table food, he was not allowed any salt or sugar. His first taste of sugar was his first birthday cake. Then after that, I continued to withhold sugar. We tried all kinds of veggies and tried to train him to eat right. It did not work. He developed picky eating habits by the age of two.
- Son #2 was also only fed baby food for a while but table food was introduced much earlier. My friend's kids would eat anything and she said it's because she fed them whatever she was eating. So I tried that. If we had spicy food, so did he. He developed picky eating habits even earlier than his brother.
- Big Sis ate baby food for a little while but didn't care for it. We tried table food but she didn't like that much either. We tried to feed her a great variety of foods. She too became a picky eater.
- Baby Girl refused baby food. She acted like we were giving her scalding hot poison. We even put the veggies aside and went right for the fruits. Nope. We tried table food. Nope. This child did not eat enough to keep any human being alive.
- All of my kids sleep great. They are all light sleepers though and can be woken up easily. Son #1 is nearing the teenage years and is sleeping more and more. Baby Girl still wakes up during the night once or twice a week. She will not cry it out. I have to walk in her room, tell her to lay down, and leave. That's all she needs.
- None of my kids eat well today. Son #1 finally realized he's a carnivore and has taken to eating meat whenever he can. When we took him on a cruise, he ate so many hamburgers that he vomited all over the cabin. We had to call housekeeping in the middle of the night who had to use masks and a carpet cleaning machine to rid all the vomit. We still have to monitor how much he eats or he throws up.
- Son #2 is very limited but tries to occasionally branch out. As long as dinner is made up of something with red sauce or noodles, he's a happy camper. Lunch every day is peanut butter crackers.
- Big Sis eats very little. Very few restaurants please her, except for McDonald's and Cracker Barrel. She is limited to chicken nuggets, applesauce, spaghetti, and salami. She even abandoned hot dogs when they started "not tasting right." Every night at dinner results in her crying.
- Baby Girl eats practically nothing. She lives on crackers, bacon, sausage, and Chapstick. Occasionally I can get her to eat cereal. I'm not sure what I did so poorly while raising my kids to eat. I blame it on their father- a picky eater who stands at 6'2" and weighs 175 soaking wet.
And so it goes...
Saturday, January 29, 2011
It's coming down fast,
We might just stay in
'Til this snowstorm is past.
Drinking hot cocoa,
and coffee and tea,
Let's snuggle in blankets
And just watch TV.
I have a sty in my eye,
It's swollen and red,
It's painful and itchy,
I should be in bed.
I need to clean this house
But I'm a lazy louse.
Friday, January 28, 2011
When the going gets tough, I try to see my glass as half-full. I try to find the silver lining, see the good in people, and find joy in the storm. This past week in my life has been among the tough. You may be able to tell from my recent posts. Some of them haven't been the most cheerful. I apologize for that.
We had a death in the family. The deceased was someone who once lived next door to me, was someone I would call any time I had a cooking question, was someone whom I considered to be close. Two years ago, this person removed herself from my family's lives. She took with her my cousins and their children - people I grew up with. My grandfather, the always wise leader of the family, has never gotten over it. Not only did he have to deal with the death this week, his health is declining. He lives with my grandma whose dementia makes every moment of every day difficult beyond the point of understanding. I don't know how he functions. He is the strongest man I've ever known. And to see him break down is simply more than I can bear. I would have allowed my own arm to be cut off if I could have kept my sweet grandfather from the pain he has endured this week, this month, these past two years.
But in spite of my pain and sadness, I make myself pull out that inner Pollyanna. I have to find beauty in ashes. And to voice that gladness out loud (or in print) makes me realize my true blessings.
- I am so thankful for my family's health. My husband has been through his share of sickness. Seeing him able-bodied is a tremendous joy.
- My kids received extraordinary grades on their report cards. I don't have to fight with them, tutor them, or stress over their learning. They make me proud to be their mama.
- I have recently been added to the vocal staff at our church. Singing with such talented vocalists is like a dream for me. It doesn't even bother me that they had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to justify using me.
- I have a gorgeous home. It is in no way grand or showy but it's just right for me.
- Through all the hurt, pain and betrayal, my family has grown closer to one another. We value each other so much more and truly appreciate one another's skills, talents, and traits. Being accepted is something I take for granted. I can't imagine not having a place to belong.
- I have some pretty incredible friends. I have lost a couple best friends in my lifetime. Best friends and incredible friends are two different things. Best friends are people you see nearly every day. You talk or text throughout the day, you know what the other is doing at all times and where they are going. I no longer have a best friend. Incredible friends are the ones who just happen to know when you need a phone call, a hug, a compliment, or a lunch invitation. I don't know how they know, but they just do. I actually consider some of you incredible friends. Even though we've never met, you seem to know when to say or blog the right things. Thank you.
- And most of all, I am thankful that I could go on and on like this for days. I am so blessed that I can't even begin to list all the things that make me smile, keep me going, and make life worth living.
I'm glad I played The Glad Game today. :)
Thursday, January 27, 2011
One summer evening, I got the great idea to hide her in Hubby's golf bag. I knew he had a golf day planned and this was a perfect way to get him. He surely wouldn't discover the stowaway until he was actually at the course. So I snuck into his car late at night and buried the Mexican girl deep inside the golf bag. I smiled halfway into the night at the thought of my cleverness. Well, the golf outing passed and not a word was uttered about the prank. But part of the game is pretending that you didn't notice the doll before you re-hide it. So I didn't say anything to Hubby.
On Monday morning, a co-worker of Hubby's approached him. He held up the doll and asked if Hubby had any knowledge of the Mexican girl. Hubby laughed and wondered how I got the co-worker involved. The man went on to explain that, while on the golf course Saturday, this little doll flew out of his golf bag while he attempted to remove a club. What?!? Dumb me put the doll into the WRONG GOLF BAG! I had no idea that Hubby had someone else's bag in his car from the last time they golfed together! Hubby got the biggest kick out of my attempted cleverness and tremendous failure.
Even though the prank on Hubby was ruined, it ended up being funnier in the long run. This poor man was the subject of much ridicule at having a little girl's doll tucked inside his manly golf bag. So now he's in on the joke too. I can only wonder where she will turn up next. Maybe after we lose all the action figures...
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
- People who let me down. If I don't do it myself, it doesn't get done right. Frustrating.
+ Blogging. It is a wonderful outlet for me and I value it more each day.
Hope you have a + kind of day!
Sunday, January 23, 2011
- Negative people who always see the grass as greener on the other side. Just keep your own grass green and quit looking at your neighbor's!
Saturday, January 22, 2011
1 1/2 lbs. cubed round steak, cut into thin strips
House Seasoning (1 C salt, 1/4 C pepper, 1/4 C garlic powder)
2 T olive oil
2 T butter
1 medium onion, sliced
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 10 3/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
1 11 oz. can beef broth
1 C sour cream
Cooked flat noodles
Season the steak strips with House Seasoning, then dust the strips with flour. In a large skillet, quickly brown them on both sides in the oil and butter. Remove the steak from the pan. Add the onion slices and mushrooms to the pan drippings. Cook for a few minutes, until the onion is tender, then sprinkle with 1 t flour. Put the steak back into the pan with the onion and mushrooms. Add the soup and broth. Cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, covered. Stir in the sour cream. Adjust seasoning to taste, adding salt and pepper as needed. Serve over cooked hot buttered flat noodles.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Shortly after that, the mother showed up at my house in a Land Rover. They had always driven modest cars and now they were separated. But Son #1 explained that the car belonged to the mother's boyfriend who was a doctor. They were living together. Nice. Now I'm starting to get a little judgemental. It may be beside the point but this doctor would rank several slots below the mother and both fathers on an attractiveness scale. Now, I'm not saying she's a gold digger...
So over the weekend, the two oldest boys were asked to move out and live with their natural father. He wasn't available to pick them up at the time so it was the ex-step-father who temporarily took them in. Something is just not right with this picture. The step-father lives locally, the mother now lives approximately 15 minutes from the boys' school, and the father lives 30 minutes away. The two sons will likely be pulled out of the school they've attended their entire life.
It saddens me so that I almost feel like offering to take them in myself. Am I being too judgemental or is this mother totally out of line? She seems to put her own needs and desires so far above those of her children. Now, I've never walked in her shoes. But I hope I would have seen the needs of my living children and tried to help them through. They have also endured devastation.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
|I'm the second from the left.|
I remember the first day of Kindergarten well. I can tell you what I wore, but I'm sure that's only because of pictures. I remember crying, not wanting to part from my mother. My aunt, who was also bringing my Kindergarten cousin, was trying to distract me. She turned on the record player quietly and started dancing. I don't think the dancing calmed my nerves but class started soon after that. At circle time, the teacher noticed that the record player was spinning. She casually asked the class why it was on. A student pointed at me saying, "Her mom turned it on 'cause she was crying." I was mortified and thought I was surely in trouble. The teacher simply smiled at me and went on with the day. I remember other special things she did that year and she ended up being one of my favorite teachers. I tell her that sometimes; I run into her often at our favorite restaurant - Chipotle. Thanks, Mrs. Kraft...you're one of my earliest and best memories!
Monday, January 17, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Friday, January 14, 2011
16 oz. sour cream
1 oz. ranch dip mix
8 oz. salsa
Mix all ingredients together. Dip will thicken as it refrigerates. Serve with tortilla chips.
I have a funny story about this dip. (It is much more pink in person than it is in the photo.) At a football party, we had a spread of food all over the table. My uncle took a healthy helping of this dip, not knowing what it was. He took a big bite with a spoon and let out a tremendous yelp. "Oh this is awful!" he exclaimed. "Who made this?" We couldn't figure out what was the great cause of drama. But when he explained that he thought it was a strawberry gelatin dessert, we fully understood. We now refer to the recipe as "Uncle Dip" in his honor.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
- This is who is watching over me as I blog today, thanks to Son #2.
- I wish all restaurants had frequent diner programs. We eat at the same few places over and over again. I would love to be rewarded for that!
- Of those same few restaurants we patronize, I order the same thing every time I visit.
- I think Winter should last just through Christmas and Spring should start in January. Anyone else done with Winter yet?
- I love listening to Baby Girl count. She says, "One, Tooo, Free, Foe, Fibe, Sick, Seben, AteNineTen!" Yes, the last three are all one number.
- I am totally into Earl Grey tea right now. For some reason, I thought I didn't like it. Then I got stuck with a cup of it because I didn't have other options. Now I'm hooked. That should teach me to try new things.
- I noticed my 2-year-old daughter attempting to change the empty toilet paper roll after she used the last of it. She seems to get it, when will her father get it?
- Happy 1.11.11!
Monday, January 10, 2011
This is a "snow shoe." Although I don't have to tell you that...it's pretty obvious.
I'm not quite sure what this is. Son #1 was trying to spill out the water and leaves that had collected in a plastic chair. To his delight, the water had frozen with the leaves in it.
A close-up view:
Studying geography, Son #1 chipped this out of the snow when we had an ice storm last year. He thought it resembled the state of Ohio. I have to say, I think he was right! (Pardon the through-the-screen-window shot.)
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Friday, January 7, 2011
When I see people reveal personal information on their blog, I cringe. I even saw someone once who stated their full name, home address, and pictures of all family members on their home page. Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm too cautious. But my mind envisions a crazy stalker (he looks a little like Steve Buscemi in my mind) who uses personal blogs to seek out his victims.
Maybe I'm just overly dramatic. But I can totally see something similar to this happening. Or maybe it's just that I was destined to become a mystery novelist. I don't know but I try to do what I can to protect my family and myself.
Oh, here is a blog written by a woman with three cute, little kids. They would make a great target! They only live one state over...not too far but not too close to home either. The kids walk home from Springfield Elementary every day. I know what they look like and have viewed the school's web page. Oh, mom has an appointment to get her hair cut this Friday. I can make sure she runs late getting home...I can let a little air out of her tires at the salon. She so kindly left her home address here for all to see. I've already Googled it and saw an actual picture of the house. This is just too easy...I'm ready to strike! Maybe next time I'll pick someone who is a bit more of a challenge...
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
This child is not capable of making a simple decision. She demonstrates this most often at breakfast time.
- "Which kind of cereal do you want?" I ask.
- "Kind," she replies while pointing to a box. So I pour that kind into a bowl and set it on a table.
- "Poon." Of course she needs a spoon...no problem.
- "No, not DAT kind."
- "Great, now you tell me. What kind do you want now?"
- "Kind," she replies while pointing to another box. Depending on my patience level that particular morning, sometimes I oblige, sometimes not. You see, this child rarely eats. She is in the fifth percentile for her weight. So any time she shows interest in eating, even sugar cereal, we usually jump to meet her demands. But today, I gave her three choices of cereal before she decided not to eat any. Ugh!
- Refusal to Swallow
Over the past week or so, Baby Girl has decided to hold the last bite of every meal in her mouth for an indefinite amount of time. She won't open her mouth or speak while the last bite lingers and she refuses to swallow. It usually results in a disgusting blog being spit in my bathroom sink. But today, she must have had a little tickle in her nose before she was able to spit. So she sneezed the partly digested final bite all over me. Ugh! (You will be thankful that I chose not to post a picture of this particular frustration.)
- Forceful Urination
New to pottying, Baby Girl still doesn't have complete bladder control. Sometimes she pees so forcefully that the urine comes up and over the toilet seat, running down the sides of the bowl and forms a puddle on the floor. This, mixed with the occasional accidents she still has, has me cleaning up urine far too often. Ugh! Thank God for Lysol wipes!
- Hair Curiosity
Baby Girl was not overly blessed in the hair department. Her hair comes just to the base of her neck and barely covers her ears. So she is very interested in her sister's waist-long, beautiful hair. So much so that she has taken to pulling the snot out of it lately. Every once in a while, I hear a scream followed by, "Baby, NO!" I run to find a grinning and happy Baby Girl with two handfuls of a crying Big Sis' hair. She only lets go when I pry her tiny, strong hands open. Ugh!
I think I need a vacation.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
- Swiffer Dust & Shine Furniture Spray- Gentle Breeze scent. Newly discovered by me, I've taken to dusting daily simply for smell purposes. Sometime I'll even just spray it in the air to get more fresh goodness out of it.
- Fabuloso Multi-Purpose Cleaner- Lavender scent. Mopping the kitchen floor is almost a joy! I said "almost!"
- Cascade Complete Dishwasher Detergent- Fresh Rapids scent actually smells good while my dishwasher is running! Although it doesn't work well any more, which is another story.
- Softsoap Hand Soap- Pomegranate & Mango. So long, Bath & Body Works hand soaps! I think the Softsoap company has one up on you here!
- Snuggle Fabric Softener- Sweet Blossom & Pomegranate scent. I buy it in both liquid form and dryer sheets. It doesn't make laundry more fun but it helps take some of the stink out of it!
- As far as bathroom cleaners go, I've tried them all. I like most of them the same, as long as they don't have too strong of a bleach smell. One I totally hate is Kaboom by Oxy Clean, even though I loved Billy Mays. I guess he died before he could convince them into making it smell better. The current bathroom cleaner I'm using is Scrubbing Bubbles, which "easily removes Soap Scum" with "Orange Action."
- And lastly, I adore Palmolive Aroma Sensations dish soap, Lavender scent. It's the only dish soap I'll buy.
You would think that someone so obsessed with cleaning products would be a total neat freak and have a completely spotless house. You go right on ahead thinking that!
"Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing." ~Phyllis Diller
(All of these opinions are completely mine. I have not been compensated in any form by any of these companies.)