Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pre School this week/ and Bug School too

H- 4 1/2
Bug- 18 months

This week we have not been great about doing school time... a little here and a little there.  We have been busy playing at the park instead, meeting Daddy for lunch, going to craft stores, getting ready for the baby...  We did do some school time, here is what we have been up to:

H-man Preschool
Math:  I had H put together this really great puzzle that I got at Ross for $5.  It has 3 pieces for each number 1-20.  I started by taking out all of the words, and just had him count the pictures then match the number.  Once he did this for all 20, I took away numbers 11-20.  Then I pulled out the cards with the the words (names of each number) for 1-10.  I would hold up the card and ask him if he knew what it said.  Some of the words he has memorized, others he tried to sound out. 
Art time:
Just painting, per H's request

For our real reading time we are still slowly working through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.   He is now to lesson 26 (I think) and each lesson has a "story" for him to read usually made up of 2 sentances of words he can sound out.  This book is honestly amazing, he can already read the little stories.  Then after each story there is a list of questions to help the child with reading comprehension.  We do reading time always while Bug is napping, it helps us both concentrate : )

H has also been really into "reading" or what you might call reciting stories to the baby.  Here are some of my favorite pics:
Yes that is by big bare belly. haha

And this one shows when the baby kicked H's hand as he read... look at that face!  I just love his expression!  It honestly made H's day that the baby liked his story so much!

Tiny Tot School:
Bug is not the best at sitting still, or having a very long attention span, so we have started working on this in a couple of different ways.
1.  High Chair time:  When I am doing school time with H, I have Bug sit in her high chair and play with 1 toy at a time.  She usually has 5 minutes of interest in the toy, then she will gather back up the pieces, and try to hand it back to me.  I know 5 minutes isn't long, but it was huge for her.  And I was so proud of her that she didn't throw the toy on the ground when she was done, that she waited for me to come over and take it from her.  Then I gave her another set of toys... again, 5 minutes of interest, packaged it back up and handed it to me.  On the first day she lasted through 4 sets of toys for a total of 20 minutes!
random, but fun... 1.  Farm Toy
2. Garlic press (don't worry no sharp edges)  
3. Metal bowl and spoon with plastic sharks

2.  Sit still time on a blanket:
Again, sitting still is not her strong suite, but an area we can improve on: )  Both of the kids get Gummy Vitamins each morning.  Instead of just giving them to the kids, I use the vitamins as little rewards or re-enforcements for sitting still.  Bug gets 1 vitamin and H gets 2.  So to lengthen the training time,  I cut hers into 4 pieces and his both in half, giving 4 pieces.   We lay out a blanket, sit down, I start by reminding Bug that it is "sit still time," then I start the Bible story.  If she can sit still for a page (2 -3 sentences) then she gets part of her "bite" as she calls it.  H has the skill down, but I use this time to let him be an example for Bug.  Praising him when he is sitting still, and letting Bug see Bro get his "bite."  Oh, we have a long way to go in this area, but it is worth all of the time and effort.  Training is never easy, but with time it does have it's rewards.

3.  Painting:
Every now and then I will pull out water-colors or finger paints for Bug to do while H is painting.  But on days that I don't have time for a lot of clean up.  I give her a paint brush, construction paper and a little cup of water.  She LOVES it.  And clean up is so easy, simply throw the piece of soggy paper away : )

Monday, May 24, 2010

I am going to miss this...

What I mean by "this" is, being pregnant.  We are pretty convinced that this will be the last time that I get to be pregnant.  I am not going to make any rash promises, but it is looking like after the arrival of #3 that our little family will be complete.  God on the other hand may have something else to say about the matter, and we are totally open to that as well.  But as far as I can tell from here, I have only 5 weeks to soak in what it feels like to have a precious life growing within me.  I have been paying attention with a whole new sense of awe to each little jab, summer sault, and hickup.  How has God deemed me worthy to carry 3 precious little ones within me over the last 5 years?  I consider carrying the life of a little one such an unfathomable blessing.  (yep, tears are flowing now).  I know some may hate being pregnant, but I love it.  It is amazing, fat face and all, I would do it over and over again!

I don't want to forget what it feels like to be pregnant.  After Bug was born, I held her on my belly trying to remember what it felt like to have her on the inside.  There is nothing like it!

I don't want to forget...
this little one jumping about every evening when I finally slow down and sit on the couch
I just stare at my belly as a huge wave crosses from he left to the right side
the push-off as I call it, I think it is the baby's hands on my right hip as it's little bum pushes against my left rib
the rhythmic little bounce when he/ she has hickups
having to stand side-ways at the kitchen sink to do the dishes
the ease of maternity pants : )  Ha ha
the tightening of each contraction... braxton hicks or not, they get my attention every time
H's excitement when he feels the baby move
not being able to touch my toes, or put my shoes on
having this little buddy always with me, my constant companion
Bug pointing at my belly and saying, "Baby!"
a little foot protruding from the right side of my belly, I give it a little rub and the baby pulls back, then pushes it out again.  our little game
what it feels like to have my belly rest on my legs when I am sitting
the left side of my belly usually sticking out further because that is where the baby's back is
the morning dance that this little one does on my bladder : )  trying to get me up and going for the day
the awe and wonder I feel as I try to wrap my mind around this little person God is forming inside of me
will you be a girl or a boy?
what will your personality be like?
will you come late like your brother or early like your sister?
will you really be our last?  Is pregnancy a gift I will never get to experience again?

I am going to soak this in, each and every day!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cloth Diapers- post 1

 I have been asked by quite a few people about cloth diapers lately, so I thought I would write a little post about it.  We have never been "religious" about cloth diapering.  We use cloth about 75% of the time.  You won't catch me bringing cloth diapers on vacations, but when we are around home we use cloth.

Why do we use cloth diapers?
1.  It is very cost effective for our family, especially when you take into consideration that we will soon have 2 babies in diapers!
2.  It is better for my baby-  did you see that many babies are getting awful diaper rashes due to the new chemicals Pampers is putting in their Swaddler and Stay dry diapers.  You can read more here.
3.   It is better for the environment.  We have an energy efficient front loading washing machine so it uses very little water.  And since moving to SoCal I line dry our diapers 90% of the time.
4.  It helps my skinny kids keep their pants up : )  Funny, but true!  Bug has a number of pairs of pants that she can only wear with cloth diapers.  If she has a disposable on, her pants slip right off.
5.  For a baby (I started using cloth diapers when Bug was 3 months old) they prevented blow-outs!  Yeah, for not having to clean poop off of her back, the carseat, my lap, the swing...

Original Stash:
My stash (supply) that I have used for Bug
3- Size Small BumGenius AIO (all in one, pocket diapers)- now she is too big for these
7- BumGenius 3.0 AIO pocket diaper
1-  Size Small FuzziBunz

Additions to our stash (preparing for baby):
1- Size Medium Fuzzi Bunz
2- Flip BumGenius
2- additional Organic Inserts for the Flip

4- BumGenius 3.0 AIO pocket diaper (2 of which are "Seconds")
1- Bumkins AIO, size Medium

Must haves in my opinion for Cloth Diapering:
A dry bag for storing dirty diapers in.  Bag is then thrown right into the wash with your dirty diapers.

 Bummis biosoft flushable liners- makes poopy diapers so much easier to deal with.  This is not needed for breast-fed babies as their poopy is water-soliable and comes right off.  But as soon as your little one starts eating solids, I would highly recommend this.  Unless you are a die-hard cloth diapering mama and you want to wash all of the solid poops into the potty.

To be continued....  but here is a sweet pic of Bug from when we first started using cloth diapers

Thursday, May 20, 2010


May this be a dose of perspective for all of us in the trenches of mothering little ones.  Oh, how quickly the years go by!!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wholesome Oat Muffins

Here is a recipe for yummy muffins!  My husband and kids all love these; so much so that I double the recipe and then freeze about 1/2 of them.  They taste great even once thawed, especially with a little bit of jam or fruit spread!

This is an adapted recipe from the South Beach Diet cookbook.  I don't really care for sugar substitutes, especially if it is something my kids are going to be eating.  So, my version of this recipe uses real brown sugar instead. 

3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons oats
1 cup buttermilk
(if you do not have buttermilk, measure one Tablespoon of White Vinegar into a 1-Cup measuring cup, then fill to the top with milk)
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour or whole grain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup canola oil
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Coat a 12-cup nonstick muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper baking cups.

In a small bowl, combine 3⁄4 cup of the oats and the buttermilk. Let soak for 30 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and walnuts.

In a large bowl, stir together the oil, egg, brown sugar, and vanilla until well blended. Stir in the oat mixture. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Do not overmix.

Divide the batter evenly among the 10-12 prepared muffin cups, filling them about 2/3 full. Sprinkle the remaining 2 Tablespoons oats over the muffins. Bake for 11 to 15 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Remove to the rack to cool completely.

 Enjoy this healthy breakfast treat! 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Encouragement on compassion

I am currently working through a Biblestudy by Beth Moore called "Loving Well."  It is a short 4-week study that I am so blessed to be a part of.  I highly recommend it!  Everyone could use a little dose of Beth in their life... okay I will save that for another post...  Today in the study we were asked, "In what ways have you seen the love of God poured out on you through other people?  What did it look like?"

My mind went immediately to our struggle with infertility.  I could not have made it through that time without the countless friends that were willing to pour out God's love on me.  The sweetest way love was shown to me through that time was in tears.  That sounds funny to say, but it is true.  The friends that were close enough to experience my pain and share in my tears were the friends that truly showed me the compassion and the love of Christ.  It helped me realize that I was not alone in the heartache!  I recently read an article by Molly Piper (yes, she is related to the Christian author John Piper).  In this blog article, she articulated the gift of true compassion so well.  Here is the link for one of the best blog posts, articles or messages that I have ever read with how to support a friend in the midst of pain and struggle.

I do hope this can encourage you to reach out, love on and join a friend even in the hard times in life.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

1 year...

It was a year ago today that I experienced the most frightening mommy moment of my life.  We had just returned home from visiting Mr. Steady's family on the East Coast.  We had some of our dear friends staying at our house for the next week.  They had their dog with them at our place, which was fine, because we had been around their dog before.  Then in an instance everything changed.

We don't know exactly what happened that aggravated the dog to bite H, because no one saw it happen. H was in the room where the dog's food was, and the dog's food bowl was upside-down after the bite happened. Our assumptions are that in some way the dog felt threatened having H by it's food. Our friend's who's dog it is felt absolutely awful.  I was upstairs nursing Bug, when I heard H scream from downstairs.  I set her down and ran down the stairs as our friends were carrying H up, with his face covered in blood.  I think my heart stopped for a second!  We brought him to the sink and wiped away the blood to see where the injuries were.  All the while H was still very upset.  It was not nearly as bad as it had looked once we got the bleeding to slow down.

H was such a trooper! He was absolutely traumatized when it happened, as any of us would be. I really can't imagine! He cried for the first 20 minutes while we were at home and then on our way to the doctors. Once at the pediatrician he never even complained, not a whimper or tear. The pediatrician told us to head up to Children's Hospital because H would have to be sedated for the stitching. . H was sedated for an hour, and ended up with 16 stitches. 13 external and 3 on the inside of his upper lip, where his gums meet the lip.

The sedation was the hardest part for me. I was queasy, sad, overwhelmed, worried about H, yet thankful at the same time that this was all that we were there for. I really can't describe what it felt like to have my baby laying on a table, hooked up to and IV, lots of monitors on him, his little body shaking and moaning (side effects from the sedation drugs), being irrigated, suctioned and stitched up, with a breathing bag on his chest in case something went wrong. And keep in mind that I knew that this was all just minor stuff. I really can not even begin to imagine what parent's feel like when their child is having life-threatening issues. 
 H, the morning after the stiches, face all swollen around eye and his upper lip

The doctors kept saying over and over again that this could have been so much worse.  The way cuts in his skin looked, it appears as if the dogs upper teeth were right under H’s eye, and the dog’s lower jaw was actually inside H’s upper lip….  If the dog would not have released it’s bite before it pulled away, H would be missing an entire section of his face.  Thank you Lord, for watching over my little boy!

The physical scars are still visible, especially the one under his eye.  People keep telling me that scars on a guy are “cool,” or some have even said “sexy.”  I sure hope he thinks so as he gets bigger.  H still has a fear of dogs, but is doing much better each month that has passed.  At first, he couldn’t be anywhere near a dog.  A simple bark would send him jumping into my arms.  Now, if we are at a friends house with a dog, he will ask if the dog can go outside or if he can play somewhere the dog can’t be by him.  When we are on a walk, and a dog is coming he will come right up next to me, knowing that I will protect him if need be.

Pictures from today

Picture 1- scar under his nose, picture 2 scar is small bumps under his eye

Oh, if I could go back in time and change that evening, I would.  But I can’t, and this is just a little part of H’s story, of God's faithfulness in his life.  This was so minor in light of all some children have to face.  Every time I look at his scars I am reminded that this could have been so much worse and that God really was watching over him and protecting him.  I pray that I don’t have to watch one of my kids deal with anything worse, I don’t know if I am strong enough!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

is this a normal boy thing???

**updated with picture**

H-man has a new fascination, maybe we will even say addiction to spitting.  Yes, I said spitting!  I don't know if it feels like a new talent to him, so he wants to practice it and perfect it.  But this Mama is over it!  We have told him countless times that spitting is not okay. 

1.  This morning, H was going to the bathroom, I went in to check and see if he was ready to have his hinny wiped.  And slipped, the floor was sopping wet.  At first I thought he peed all over it while he was trying to... (well you know).  But no, it was clear and foamy, and slippery.  The kid had been sitting on the pot spitting so much that the floor was drenched.  I was a tad livid.  Seriously, what would make him think this was okay to do?!?!?!  So after yelling at him, and then getting a consequence... I cooled down gave him a rag and had him clean it up.  Then I cooled down some more and I apologized for yelling at him and asked for forgiveness.

2.  Fast forward four hours... we were at Target picking up a few items... The kids had done great as I shopped, it was a really quick trip.  Then at the check out I was swiping my credit card, talking with the checker, pleased that both kids were enjoying each other's company and having fun.  Until, I realized why Bug was laughing.  H had been spitting in her hair.  Yes 4 loogies (sp?) sitting on top of sweet Bug's almost bald head.  I took a deep breath, gave H "the look," and very calmly said, "H, you know spitting is not okay.  You WILL be getting a consequence later when we get home.  As tactfully as I could, I wiped the spit from Bugs head and strolled out of Target; steaming internally and trying to figure out what in the world will get through to this kid that WE DON'T SPIT.

So after some time thinking about this and chatting with some other moms, I came up with a game plan.  H needs to spit, I don't know if it is a boy thing, or an area where he is showing me that he is independent or what.  But I get it... I don't want to stifle the boyness in him.  So I designated a bush in our back yard that is now his "spittin' place."  Anytime he wants to spit, he just needs to go to his bush.  There are a few hard and fast rules though...  He can never spit on his bush when we have friends over (as to not be a bad example to other kids), and he is not allowed to spit anywhere other than the bush.  If he chooses to disobey, he looses the privilege of his spittin' bush and he gets a consequence.

So that is the plan, we will see if it cuts down on all of the other spitting!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Baby Names

It is a quiet evening here, I am physically wiped out so to pass some time this evening I looked up baby names... and meanings.  Fascinating, honestly this has been so fascinating!
Of the boy names that we have considered, here are a list of the meanings:
White Falcon, Dweller at Church, Son of Andrew, Son of Gerard, Young Warrior, Well born... and the winner for most random meaning: Fable Monster.

In case you are wondering the name that meals Fable Monster is no longer on my list... I just couldn't do that to the poor kid!

My favorite girl name means "God is my Strength."  I think that just sealed the deal for me!  Love the name and meaning.  Now just to narrow down our 2 middle name options for a girl : )

When we named Bug we fell in love with the meaning of her name with is "Bringer of Joy."  Here is what Mr. Steady wrote about it on the day we named her:


Bug's name is a name that we have liked for a long time now but when she was first born we weren't sure that she "looked like" it.  Her name seems to have a fun, spontaneous, and lively connotation to it and she has been so soft, quite, and delicate since she was born and so that kind of threw us off a little bit. However, we finally decided to go with it anyway for a number of reasons. 1) We love the meaning, which is "bringer of joy" 2) We like that it's not terribly common but it's still easy to pronounce and spell 3) We hope that she will grow into her name and become someone who is fun, lively, and full of spirit and still have a delicate and quietly beautiful presence about her and that she will live a life full of joy and full of bringing joy to others. She's certainly off to a good start - she has brought us an amazing amount of joy in just the last 18 hours. And we chose Hope for her middle name because God blessed us with the gift of this child during a season in our lives when we were starting to run out of hope and wondering if we would be able to have another child again and yet in His infinite grace and providence we were given hope again upon finding out that she would be ours.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

- Mr. Stead

Introducing Our Sweet Bug...


Do you see how much this girl has lived up to the meaning of her name in just 18 months?  She does bring us so much joy, and yes she is spirited and lively as well!

So it is with much consideration and prayer as we decide the name of our next little one.  May the name fit as well as Bug's has : )

Friday, May 7, 2010

Little update

Bug: Thanks to those of you that have prayed for Bug and I (keep em coming)!  The last 2 days have been much better.  Well, other than when she bit me today as I was talking to my neighbor.  To which I said to my neighbor, "Wow, I can't believe she did that.  Wait, I can believe she did that!"  Not saying that Bug has been characterized at all by biting, but that as soon as we as parents think our kids are above any behavior or rebellion we are asking to be humbled : )  So, other than that minor infraction and a few others of determination and defiance we are doing better.  I am handling her testing of power, with much more grace and consistency rather than shock and irritation.  Can I just say, that it is not about me either or anything I have mustered up on my own!  God has graciously helped me pull my tired pregnant body out of bed before my kids have woke up to spend time reading and praying.  Whew, what a difference that time in the morning with God makes!

Nesting update:  I wrote about my insatiable urge to nest here.  We have been able to accomplish a lot of the to-do lists. 
H's room and the guest room have successfully been swapped!  Crib is up!  Crib bedding for boy and girl have been washed and are ready to go.  My sweet friend Nicole came over and helped me sort through all of my boy and girl clothes.  Left side of the dresser has boy clothes and right has girl.  My plan is just to wash the Newborn size of each for now, then after I deliver we will just wash the ones we will need (getting so excited to find out what we are having)!  I have started organizing and de-cluttering projects throughout the house.  Man it feels so good to get things in order, I even organized my bras and undies!

PreSchool for H- I am still working hard to plan and prep for next years curriculum.  I originally wrote about it in this post.  From the recommendation of another sweet blogging mom Catherine, I took a look at Hubbards Cubpoard.  Wow, truly amazing the free curriculum they have listed.  I am considering using this as my starting point, and then adding in some of the amazing tools I have found on 1+1+1=1 Blog, Homeschool Creations, Confessions of a Homeschooler and the many other blogs that I am starting to dig into.  Planning for the whole year can feel a bit daunting, but it really is so fun as well!

Baby #3-  I have been having some contractions, and I was a little fearful that it meant this little one would be arriving a little ahead of schedule.  I still have over a month and a half to go, so now would not be ideal for this little one to come.  I had an OB appointment and asked if I could be checked, since I am scheduled to fly to Denver next week for a wedding.  My OB in his tad harsh New York fashion kind of laughed at me since I don't have any other indicators of pre-term labor (both of my other kids were within 8 days of their due date, I am 30 years old, the baby looked healthy on the ultrasound, the contractions have been happening for a week now and I am not in active labor...  yes, he really did snicker at me).  Anyway, I had him check and I am at a 0!  Thank goodness!  He did run the test (can't remember what the test is called) to see if I am probable to deliver in the next 2 weeks, but I haven't heard back from him what the results are.  I am not going to fret over the contractions for now.

That is my little update.  Sorry, no pics, lots of words, might have been a boring post for some of you : )

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

not a winning day!

Today was not a winning day as a mom in my little world.  I am exhausted, big and uncomfortable, in pain from my back, impatient and truth be told, selfish.  I know that some of the issues going on in our home are greatly influenced by the stages my kids are at, but really... I have to take the credit for some of the ugliness going on here.  Oh, what I would give to have a wise answer on my tongue when correction is needed, or an extra amount of patience, or more joy, or more love... but left on my own accord, I continue to get frustrated and flustered at my kiddos.

Bug is wearing me down with her outright defiance.  At almost 18 months old I am constantly questioning what I need to be doing with her, what discipline is appropriate, what can be expected of her.  The girl understands everything.  She just chooses to do very little of what is asked of her.  When I say, "Come here please," she will turn and RUN the other way.  I then take hold of her little hand and say, "Bug, Mama asked you to come here please, you need to obey what Mama asked."  I lead her back to where I was when I had asked her to come, which she thinks is all a little game and will often stop walking with me and drag her feet, belly laughing as we go.

Another constant battle is in the car: she thinks it is great fun to reach over and pinch H's arm as I am driving (their car seats are next to each other in the car).  I have said over and over, "Bug, Stop!  No pinching bro, please keep your hands to yourself."  But she does is over and over again.  Oh, and then there are the fits, the crying every time she does not get her way, tears and at times kicking and screaming.  Age appropriate, and to be expected, but this can not be our norm!

Seriously, what do I do?!?!  We did not have the issues of strong defiance with H, where everything becomes a head-on battle.  It makes me doubt that I am even fit to mother her.  It wears me down and then I have less patience for H-man.  It makes me want to go back to work, because at least at work, people listened to me, and didn't fight me on every issue. So is anyone hiring?  I am just kidding, but man that prospect is tempting!

I know that it is such a blessing that I get to stay home with our kids.  I am just feeling a little over my head right now.  It might be that there are only a few weeks left in my pregnancy and I am wondering how in the world will I ever take care of (let alone soak in and cherish) a newborn, while trying to keep Bug under control.  This pressing time-frame is probably adding to my own sense of urgency and unrealistic expectations.  I think that all of this is just a reminder that I need to be seeking God daily for wisdom in how to raise, respond to and shepherd these little people that He has entrusted to my care.  Why do I so foolishly try to do it on my own?

One other struggle that I am dealing with, and maybe some of you can relate, is not taking my kids disobedience and other sin issues as a personal offense to me.  To not get frustrated, impatient or  angry, but to see that we ALL struggle with sin and disobedience, it just manifests itself in different ways in each one of us.  I need to be consistent with correction, patient with instruction and generous with grace...I know these things, it can just be so hard to implement.

Okay, I will stop rambling on... thanks for reading if you made it this far : )  If you think of us will you pray for my heart as a mom, that God will give me the wisdom, patience and grace to make it through each day.  Will you also pray for some forward progress with Bug, that we won't constantly be at this place of total defiance.  Oh, and pray that tomorrow might be a winning day!  Thanks for your prayers!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Green Smoothies

In an effort to enjoy more fruits and veggies for the whole family, we have been making a lot of "green smoothies."  Not all of the smoothies look green once blended, but all are packed with spinach!

Start with a blender full of Spinach
Add 1 Cup of orange juice
Blend until spinach is finely chopped and mixed with OJ
Add a banana
And your choice of frozen fruit.
Blend well and if it seems too thick to drink from a straw, add more liquid, either water, milk or more juice.



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