Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Faith

I usually avoid a couple of topics for various reasons. The first is Politics. I just don't feel knowledgeable enough to talk about politics. I have my views, I vote the way I want and feel most comfortable, but very rarely will anyone get me in a conversation about it. Religion is the other. I am not as afraid of this topic in conversation, and I will mention things that show others what my beliefs are, but I am not extremely vocal about it for some reason. I call myself a "Quiet Christian". I believe in God, I attend and help at church in various ways, I pray multiple times a day, I have read scripture, books like "The Shack" and "90 Minutes in Heaven" (both are very good I might add), but I am not the type that forwards emails or reposts the messages on FB, can quote scripture, or spreads the Word. Some people might say that makes me less of a Christian, but it's me and I won't change. There is one thing that I have heard and truly believe although I have heard that it drives others crazy when it's said and that is "God has a plan and only allows things to happen for a reason". I have heard people get VERY angry with this comment and say things like "If there was a God, he certainly wouldn't allow children to suffer". I can't say I agree with His plan. I can't say I understand it, but for whatever reason, it's His plan. There's a reason why I believe this and it's because I NEED to. I need to feel like things that have happened had a divine reason. It brings me comfort. If you don't agree, then that's fine, but again, it's me. Here's an example (and man, I hope my sister doesn't kill me for this one).
First, I need to give a little history. Back in 2005, on July 15, my sister was being induced. The same day, my Grandmother went into the hospital. My parent's checked in on her in one hospital, left, picked me up and we drove another hour (2 hours from my grandmother) to be with my sister. Over the next few weeks, my Grandmother took a turn for the worse and was sent home under Hospice care. My sister was driving 1 hour with a newborn to visit my grandmother because the outlook wasn't good. My sister was exhausted through it all as any new mother would be. My grandmother passed away just a few weeks after going into the hospital :( Fast forward to late 2006 and my sister finds out she's pregnant and due Sept. 11. Everyone is very excited until we find out at 10 weeks that she has had a miscarriage and then devastation, frustration, anger sit in.We ask the usual question "Why did this happen?" as most people do in times of grief. Here's why and it's the only thing that has provided me comfort and hopefully my sister too. My Dad went into the hospital around Sept. 11. This is when we found out that he was more ill then we ever dreamed. God took my sister's baby because yes, once again, she would have been traveling back and forth to the hospital with a newborn (and she probably couldn't have really had her baby in the hospital for infection reasons) to be with our Dad. She would have been dealing with a new baby, a toddler and hospital trips. Does it explain why Dad had to go through what he did? No, but I am sure there was a reason. There was a plan, that once again I don't understand, don't like, don't agree with but again, I have to believe it for the comfort it brings me. Agree or disagree, I don't care. I believe what I believe so that I can avoid feeling angry since this is the way I deal with grief.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I miss my boys

It's the weirdest thing. There are some days when I just need time alone. I love my boys more than anything, but need that time to myself to unwind, recoup....whatever. I have a wonderful weekend coming up in a couple of weeks where I get to do this and it is much needed. I will miss them like crazy but know that I will come back refreshed and a better mother. Then why has it been killing me to be away from them this weekend. I had an event I helped plan yesterday that has kept me busy. I came home from it exhausted but feeling great. Within an hour of being home, that all changed and I got very ill. Like, couldn't leave the bed except for the nausea issue, kind of ill. It killed me yesterday hearing the boys playing and getting ready for bed and I couldn't be a part of it. Then today, they left and went to church and to my mom's for the usual Sunday afternoon and I sit here so sad that I am not with them. Jay took them swimming to keep them more away from the house which I totally understand and I am extremely upset because I want them here. I know it's all been for the best to hopefully prevent them from getting this lovely bug I have, but man, it has been so hard. Parenting is weird. I am forced to let Jay take care of everything and rest and it's killing me, yet all I have wanted for the past weeks is to have the time where he has to take care of everything and I can rest.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


There are so many wonderful things going on around me right now. We are about to put on a wonderful event this weekend to help raise money for the UVA Breast Care Center. The race that is associated with the event is the following weekend and is just an amazing event (if you are interested, here's a link www.dominiondigital.com/womens4miler/). Troy and Will have just been wonderful and adorable and loveable. Jay has been a huge help and support. Things are just going well, but yet, I am struggling. I think I have surrounded myself with "busy-ness". I have thrown myself into the planning and training so I can simply keep my mind occupied. Once I settle in, I start thinking and that isn't a great thing right now. The next month will continue like this as well because in just 1 month from today, it's the anniversary of my Dad's death. It will be three years and in some ways it's a bit easier because we talk more about the happy times and seeing how much Will is like him, we laugh a lot more. But this is always a tough time because I start thinking more about how it was that last month, those last weeks....and I have a harder time laughing and smiling. It was rough. I cannot lie. It was so hard to be around him and watch him in misery from the chemo and then from the kidney failure, but I couldn't be away either because I knew there wasn't much time. I treasure all the time I spent with him, but knew he was in so much pain, discomfort and misery that he couldn't truly enjoy us and that is hard for me. I just hope he knows that as hard as it was to watch him suffer, I am glad that we were there, even when he didn't seem to realize it. I miss him so much it hurts

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monkey See, Monkey Do

For anyone with 2 or more kids, I am sure you have seen this MANY times. Some things you can't get pictures of, but others, well you just have to share :)
Troy did it so....

Will did it....

Troy did it so they ALL did it.....(in case you are wondering, they are feeding the birds)

Will did it.....(and momma wasn't thrilled)

So Troy did it..... (and momma still wasn't thrilled, but took pics anyway)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Review of 1001 Healthy Baby Answers

I received another opportunity to review a book through justmommies.com. This time around it is 1001 Healthy Baby Answers: Pediatricians' Answers to All the Questions You Didn't Know to Ask written by Gary C. Morchower, MD with contributions from pediatric specialists.
This book contains common questions parents have about a variety of conditions/disorders. It's broken down into 2 sections. The first deals with conditions/disorders that happen in newborns and the second deals with issues facing children and adolescents. Here are just a few examples of each:
Birth Defects, Heart Disease--congenital, clubfoot, jaundice, and meconium aspiration.....
Children and Adolescents--
These include acne (adolescents, not baby), autisum, colic, cradle cap, croup, diabetes, roseola..., but the list for both is immense.

Pros of this book:
* Many different specialists are involved so the knowledge base is incredible
* It's very easy to read
* It's organized alphabetically so it's easy to locate what you are wanting to find information on
* It covers a wide range of conditions/disorders
* It's a wonderful reference if you have questions about various disorders

Con's of this book:
* You have to know what the condition is you are looking for. This is not a book for someone who has a child with sign/symptoms looking for what could be the cause.
* It doesn't include signs/symptoms in some of the illnesses so again, if you are wanting to know what could be wrong, this may not be of assistance.
* Some of the conditions really warrant more space/time, such as autism. So you may need to do more research.

Overall, the book was informative. I am not positive that I would purchase it for myself as I prefer books that are more signs/symptom based or I would simply use the internet if I knew the condition. However, it could a good book to have on hand so you can prepare questions that may need to be asked if you know what issue you are facing.
Here is the link if you would like to see what is included in more detail or if you would like to purchase:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My "date" with Troy

This morning, I had a date with my very handsome, blue-eyed 4 year old son. I try to do things with Troy every so often to get 1 on 1 time with him since much of what we do revolves around Will and his naps. It is also sometimes hard to do things with Troy that he wants to because Will would not be able to do it or would make me spending time with Troy difficult--like bowling. Because I always feel like Troy gets the short end of the stick, I try to set aside time with him. Today was OUR day. I took him to see one of his favorites--Curious George LIVE. It was just such a nice day. We went to the show, got to just hang out. I was just amazed at how much he has changed. He used to be that kid that couldn't sit still for any time, bouncing off the walls, loud and screaming, but he seems so grown up now. Yes, the show was way too long for him, but he did really well and we left just a tad early, compared to 1/2 way early the last time we took him to a show. He sat there, asked questions and participated when they asked for the audience to. It was actually funny to be there because so many of the kids were the way he used to be. It made me giggle a bit because I remember I used to think Troy had to be ADHD because he didn't have the attention span of my niece. I guess because I was always dealing with keeping him entertained, I couldn't pay attention to all the other parents doing what I was doing. Yes, he's still very energetic, but I don't think it is ADHD WHEW!
Here is us getting ready to leave

The show

And Troy just enjoying himself with his new toy....

My only problem with today is the disgust I get at the outlandish prices they charge for souveniers and food/drink. I mean, there is no competition so do you really have to double the price? Water for $3.50?? I know, they do it because they can, but still, have pity on a momma.......

Monday, August 16, 2010

School's starting soon...

SIGH. No my boys are not in school, so why does this bother me you ask? Well, I have a few reasons. It means the summer is slowly coming to a close so no more pool. I was hoping to go today, however the storms brewing outside apparently don't want me to. Maybe tomorrow. It means that the playground is off limits during the early part of the day. For some reason, the school administrators don't like it when we go and try to blend in with the classes?? Don't know why as we don't take up THAT much space, but nonetheless, we have to wait until late afternoon. That's fine, but then we don't get to see my niece and nephew at all. That brings me to my biggest reason for not wanting school to start....my sister goes back to school. That means while Troy's in school, I can't go hang out with her and my nephew and just visit. We can't meet up to go to Yoder's. We can't meet at the pool after naps. We can't have picnic lunches. We can't take early walks together....you get the picture. I try often (and fail often) to convince her to become a SAHM like me, but alas, it's not happening. Am I being selfish? Of course. I know that. It's just that summer is so much more fun, not because we did everything I wanted to do, but because the potential is there. Now it's back to normal with me and the boys hanging out patiently waiting for our friends to get out of school and play. Thank God my mom retired or I would really be lonely :D

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hearing ourselves in our children

Anyone who has children old enough has probably noticed the impact we as parents have on their speech, mannerisms, phrasing and so on. Sometimes this is hilarious, other's....not so much. Sometimes I hear Troy, my 4 year old, say something and it's so cute. Like for instance the other day my husband asked why was he asking so many questions. Troy's reply? "Just for the sake of asking Daddy." That got quite a chuckle out of everyone in ear shot and when I walked in and heard I had to laugh because I ask him all the time, "Why are you asking questions just for the sake of asking?" I know he doesn't truly understand but he knew exactly how to repeat it. Unfortunately, this can go for other things as well. We're having a huge problem with Troy disciplining Will. Troy is always saying things like, "When I count to three, you better stop doing that. 1..2..3...Okay NOW you lost it" as he takes something. Or he'll tell Will, "Sit down or get down" then proceed to pull him off the furniture which obviously isn't the safest thing. It's frustrating as all get out, but how do I stop it because he's simply copying me and thinking he's helping. Is he? I don't know. Sometimes yes, but sometimes it sets Will off on a tantrum. I don't want Troy being a "babysitter" at age 4 but he certainly takes on the responsibility of copying me. If anyone has any suggestions, please share!
The other problem I have with hearing myself in Troy....I don't like how "I" sound. Troy has really shown me that I have issues with my yelling, getting frustrated with piddly things, and talking down about myself. He'll say something negative about himself, yell or get really frustrated and do this UGH sound and cross his arms, slam a door....whatever and I fuss at him. Then it hits me....that was me I just heard. It's definitely a wake up call that I need to listen to myself a lot more.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Review Of Big Book of Why...

Before I go on, let me just explain. I received an opportunity to review this book as part of blogging for justmommies.com. I jumped at the chance as I have been looking for a book just like this and had decided that it would be my life mission to create a book like this for parents so they would have the answer to ALL the questions that children can ask if I couldn't find it. When this opportunity came about, I could not have been more excited.

Here are the basics:
Title: Time for Kids Big Book of Why: 1001 Facts Kids Want to Know
Reading level: Geared for children age 9-12

This book is exactly what it says--tons of questions broken down by category that kids and yes, even us parents want to know. It is extremely informative, interesting and a very quick read. I really appreciated the questions being broken down into categories because I was able to look quickly and find the answers to questions Troy has often (his mainly deal with weather and technology) but I found myself finding questions that I had always wanted the answer to as well, such as how the Green Bay Packers got their name (yes, a I am sports nut, so I turned to that section first). It also includes "Why Facts" (Did you know....the average human heart beats around 100,000 times a day), resources on each section where you can expand to even more questions and a glossary.

Here are the categories and just a couple examples of questions in each:
Why do cats always land on their feet?
Why do camels have humps?
Why can I float in the ocean?
Why does the ocean have waves?
Why does the moon appear to change its shape?
Why do some planets have rings?
Why does hair turn gray?
Why do I get goose bumps?
People and Places
Why is the Tower of Pisa leaning
Why are some deserts increasing in size?
Why did the Maya build pyramids?
What was the Iron Curtain?
Why does salt melt ice?
Why does temperature change?
How did email start?
Why do some cars get better gas mileage than others?
Art and Culture
Who is the real Dr. Suess?
What was the first Rock 'n' Roll song?
Why is fishing called Angling?
Why does a curve ball curve?

This is just a very small sampling of what is in the book. It's full of fun and important information that kids (and parents) will love reading. I was hoping that it would be more geared towards my preschoolers questions but it is meant for children age 9-12. I was able to use it to answer a few, but I will definitely be referring to it quite a bit over the next few years and I am sure that when he learns to read, it will be a intriguing reference for him. My sister is a 2nd grade teacher and she has already asked to see it as well! I will most likely be purchasing this to send as gifts to my young nieces!

If you would like to purchase this book, here's the link!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Show and Tell

Just a little show and tell for the weekend :) This is my new favorite picture of Will♥

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Night and Day

Everyone told me that my boys would be different. Whatever worked for Troy, wouldn't for Will. They are pretty much right. Yes, they have some of the same characteristics, but in so many ways, they are as different as night and day.
Troy was a horrible napper, had night terrors, nightmares, didn't sleep through the night until 3 (consistently, that is. He would a few nights a week, but that's it). He did transition well to the bed so we'll see.
Will has been a good napper (once I figured out how to get him to sleep), and sleeps through the night more often than not and has for a bit. He may have some issues with nightmares, but nothing like Troy YET. He's such a decent sleeper that I hesitate to transition him to the bed.

Troy eats well, always has. He had his moments when teething, but he likes a wide variety of food. Not very willing to try new foods, but he is overall a great eater.
Will--he is iffy. In some ways, he eats well, but veggie wise, he's horrible. He'll try new foods and likes things that many young children don't. Lima beans for instance. Some days are better than others, but this has been a small issue.

Troy--hates to have anyone upset with him. Whatever discipline we have done has usually worked. We did do spanking a couple times, and that was a horrible idea so we found it was unnecessary for him.
Will--NOTHING works. Time outs--a game. Fussing/yelling--he finds amusing. Making him say he's sorry/give hugs--fun for him. Spanking--didn't phase him....NOTHING

Troy is a very anxious child. He doesn't talk to a person he's not comfortable with and won't look them in the eye. He doesn't like new situations and can actually make himself sick.
Will--other than wanting to be near someone he's comfortable with, he will wave, blow kisses, laugh, "talk"....to anyone. He loves to put on a show, flirt, get attention...Heaven help me here....

I like that they are different even though they keep me on my toes. It is amazing though to know they both came from the same parents. Troy may look like Jay, but his personality/anxiety is a lot me. Will looks like my dad (according to my mom and great aunt) and God help us, he acts like him too :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Time Warp Tuesday

Just a followup to my Time Flies post. Have to share pics of course :)

Troy and my niece in Aug 06
Troy in July 07
Troy in Aug. 08
A couple of Will in Aug. 09

Monday, August 2, 2010

Time Flies

This weekend Jay and I just sat back and watched the boys play a bit. I do it often, but Jay does not. He doesn't sit still often, well, at all really. He's always working on a project or doing something. It was odd, but nice to just be able to sit with him and really watch what the boys do and how they interact. We both asked the same question....Didn't we just move here? It was odd because we both were thinking that it has felt like no time at all since we moved back to my hometown and we were both working and just plugging along. Of course, it's been 6 years but it has really flown. When you are pregnant or right after having a newborn, everyone says to enjoy it because time will fly. I just nodded and thought to myself "Whatever." My pregnancy dragged on and on because I was so anxious/excited and the newborn phase felt like forever, especially because I was so unbelievably tired all the time, but then it hit me this weekend (and Jay too)---they were all right. Time has flown by. We now have a preschooler and a toddler. We have a 4.5 year old riding a bike with no training wheels, no longer in diapers or pullups at all, trying to get away from napping.....We have a toddler who is driving just as good as his big brother (the toys people, not for real.....:) ), showing signs of interest in potty training, starting to figure out so many things..... Wasn't I just complaining about how hard it was to get them to sleep? Wasn't I just starting them on solids? Weren't they just using a bottle? Didn't we just move here???? Time has flown and I hope that Jay sitting back and really realizing it will sit down more to just watch them.