The musings of ME:
SAH mother of 3 kids, spouse of a doctor-in-residency, caretaker and teacher of random children.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Dan in Real Life

I just watched a great movie! It stars Steve Carell, Dane Cook and several other familiar faces. It is about a lonely widower advice-columnist who is raising three daughter (2 teenagers) who goes home to visit extended family. On his first day there, he leaves the house to get some space from his daughters who are mad at him, he goes to a bookstore and meets a special woman. That's all I'm telling you! Go watch it if you haven't seen it already. It is rated PG-13. I'd give it three thumbs up if I had that many thumbs!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Zoo Trip

I have a zoo pass, but now that I am a working mom, I hardly get to use it. Last Saturday we made a family trip, but it was a quick one because we got there at 3:15, not aware that the zoo closes at 4:00 on Saturday. No matter, it was actually the best zoo trip I ever made. It was free for all since I had a coupon for Ben, and Jack is always free. There were hardly any people there, and the ones who were there were on their way out, so we got to see the animals close up. The lion cubs and the tiger cubs were out and playful! All the animals were very active, and we got to see some of them eating! Cool. Here are a couple of shots I got while we were there.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Squanto Snack

This week we have been doing a unit on Thanksgiving, complete with our own Thanksgiving feast. The kids dressed up as Native Amercians and Pilgrims and we had kid-friendly Thanksgiving foods.

(not pictured: Jackson and A., who is in the hospital doing her last round of chemo, hopefully.)

They thought that was really fun, but nothing topped their excitement on Thursday when we had a Squanto snack.

We talked about Squanto and the different ways he helped the Pilgrims through their first winter. One way was that he showed them how to plant corn with dead fish to help fertilize the corn. Then we made a yummy snack to help reinforce theis concept.

Squanto Snack
In a cup, add the following ingredients:

1. Corn (candy corn), just one or two
2. fish (Goldfish), just one or two
3. Layer of pudding and crushed Oreos (dirt/soil)

Do you think they liked it?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Little Laugh

Have you seen Transformers? Apparently a couple of kids from my preschool have. Their favorite character? "Octopus" Prime, of course!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sonogram #1

On Friday I had my first sonogram. I was so shocked. I went in being 10 weeks along, but she said I am 11 weeks, and moved up my due date to June 3. The sonographer says the baby looks perfect, but there is a small pocket of blood next to my uterus that could burst any time now and could cause bleeding. She said it is very common and will not affect the baby at all. She just wanted to make me aware in case I saw some bleeding soon.

All that aside, I was very shocked at how much I could see in this sonogram! With Jackson, my first sonogram was very early. I saw the standard gray and black blob with a flashing spot where the heart was beating. With this baby, I could see arms, legs, a profile, and he was moving like crazy! It was amazing! It hit me even more that I am actually going through this again! Obviously I knew that I was pregnant, and yes, I am getting bigger, but like I said in an earlier blog, I don't obsess over it every day like I did with Jackson because it isn't new to me and I'm just too busy to think about personal stuff on a daily basis. But now it became very real to me, and I can't imagine what another baby in our family will be like. How strange!

Soup Spills & Time Out Troubles

Today I made Charleston's Baked Potato Soup and Red Lobster Bicuits for dinner. Jackson wanted some, even though he already had dinner. He always wants what we are eating and drinking, no matter what it is or how full he already is. He is a little beggar!

We were watching Bruce Almighty in the living room as we ate. This is a pet peeve of mine for so many reasons. I feel that dinner is a great time to sit down as a family and talk. Ben disagrees. He likes to be comfortable and entertained as he eats. What am I gonna do? Most of the time I eat by myself in the kitchen while I feed Jack and Ben watches TV, but tonight I wanted to be with Ben and it was a good movie, so I relented.

The combination of all of these factors ended up with my creamy, hot baked potato soup ending up all over Jackson and the carpet.

When I went into the kitchen to take the bisuits out of the oven, I asked Ben to make sure Jack didn't get into my soup. Of course, I forgot the fact that Ben does not hear well when the TV is on, and also isn't too alert to what is going on around him. However, I know this and I'm the one who left my soup right where Jack could get into it. Luckily, he wasn't burned at all, and I got to use my new favorite thing (The Dirt Devil Spot Scrubber) to clean it up.

Anyway, as we were cleaning up, Jackson kept getting into other stuff he isn't supposed to, so he had to go to time out. Jackson's current time-out spot is in his pack n play which stays set up in the living room all the time. (He is supposed to nap in it, but I always put him upstairs in his bed so he doesn't keep the big kids awake as he cries and plays loudly while he is trying to fall asleep.) Time out is new for us. Jackson has been throwing a lot of temper tantrums lately when he wants something and doesn't get it, so we have had to come up with something other than the hand slap or diaper spanking. Those punishments don't always fit the crime, ya know? This is new for us. We haven't quite worked out the kinks, but I think when we do, I'm really going to like it. Jack already understands the concept of time out because he sees the big kids go to time out all the time. He really hates to go in time-out because he hates to be confined. The cutest thing is that he will cry and cry and then say the words "Up, please," over and over so pitifully. I have a hard time not laughing a little. Anyway, I need to find something else that confines him and conveys the message that he is in time out because I am afraid that when we go to Tulsa and he sleeps in the pack and play, he will associate it with being in time out and won't sleep in it anymore. Any ideas for something I could use? My time out for the big kids is a bean bag chair, but Jackson loves those chairs. He plays with them all the time, so that won't work. Plus, it doens't confine him at all.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Come What May, and LOVE IT!

This evening as I left my house, I was feeling very angry and frustrated. It had been a long, hard day with the kids, and then Jackson had been cranky and clingy while I prepared dinner. I had no particular reason for being so grumpy, I had just reached a limit, I guess. Sometimes when I feel this way, I also feel guilty. I feel guilty for two reasons. #1 because I am so stinkin' prideful that I can't admit that I am overwhelmed by something, even if only admitting it to myself. #2 because I made these choices willingly and I want all the responsibilities in my life, so I should be able to handle it, and currently (as in this week and last) I am not doing a very good job. I lean on Ben too much and he isn't going to always be there to help me out. I need to learn to do this by myself. How can I ever hope to have more children if I can't handle this. These were my frustrations as I headed for enrichment at church tonight.

I have missed so many enrichments, and read about them on others' blogs, wishing that I had been able to come. Tonight I willingly accepted the opportunity to get out of the house, if only for that reason. As I headed for the church, I silently welcomed any small tidbit of a message that could help me deal with my problems. I was going to open my ears and hearts for anything, anything at all, that might give me an answer. Little did I know that the Lord prepared that evening just for me.

Here are a few things I learned. In order for my burdens to feel lighter, I need to actively seek out opportunities to serve others. I loved Sis Nichol's President's Minute where she shared the children's story about the crocodile looking for his smile. My ears perk up whenever I hear about a children's book. (I LOVE children's literature. In fact, I smoked Ben at Nintendo Jeopardy in this category just 2 nights ago, lol!) In this story, everyone tries to cheer the crocodile up, but he can only find his smile after he serves someone else.

I was very impressed with Bro Cook's talk. Bro Cook always makes me laugh, and always inspires me when he speaks. I love to hear him speak. He quoted Pres Uchtdorf's talk "The Infinite Power of Hope" from the October General Conference. In it, Pres Uchtdorf states, "The things we hope for, lead us to faith, the things we hope in lead us to charity." The difference is that "the things we hope for are often future events"; "the things we hope in sustain us during our daily walk." I haven't read this talk in its entirety yet, but before I go to bed, I'm going to run a warm bath, and read it as I relax for a few minutes.

After Bro Cook, Lana spoke. I love everything about Lana. She is so cheerful, such a cute little mom with this cute big family. I love her son, who I have in my Primary class and the sweet things he says that sometimes make me laugh. If I knew nothing else about her, I would know she is a spiritual rock just by knowing her son. (...but I also know she throws a great book club and makes yummy cupcakes and is a great teacher.) Anyway, wouldn't you know it, but Lana must have heard my thoughts, because she truly said something I was thinking on my way to church WORD FOR WORD in her talk. See how in tune with the Spirit she is?! Plus, if I weren't already amazed with her, she shared this story about how when she was 21 she had 2 small children and was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and was then promptly asked to be the President of...was it RS or Primary? I can't remember, but either one would give me a heart attack, and at 21 with all those trials! WOW! At this point I am thinking, "Okay, Colleen, quit being a baby and put things into perspective. Your life is very blessed and so many people love you and offer to help you. Get over yourself and get up and help someone else!" Plus, I cracked up at the fact that I totally knew what she was talking about when she referred to the "Phoebe run" as she informed us that one of her trials is exercise. I am a die-hard FRIENDS fan! That created such a hilarious mental image in my mind. I think the point of that story ws that you have to laugh sometimes to make life more bearable. I SO agree. I miss Ben's large family because I love all the stories they share everytime they get together that crack us all up! Anyway, she shared a great spiritual message, too, and did a great job of making her topic interesting and relatable to everyday life.

Then several sisters shared some quotes from Conference. My favorite was the title of this blog. "Come what may, and love it." That was a quote from Elder Worthlin who said that it originally came from his mother, I believe. What a wise woman to come up with such a simply put statement that says so much. To me, it says, "Colleen, accept your life, and not only live it, but LOVE it." Notice there was no mention of getting mad at L. for purposefully annoying and tormenting the younger kids all day for his own amusement. No mention of getting frustrated with Jackson for pulling a placemat off the table which consequently flung sticky shrimp sauce all over the kitchen, and then minutes later turning around and knocking over his daddy's soda all over the carpet while I am still cleaning up the shrimp mess. Or getting irritated with Ben (although he is going to have Jackson all evening so I can go to Enrichment) for playing video games and not starting dinner while I am still with kids, and then leaving me to start dinner at 5:30 which is way too late for Jackson to eat (I mean, how dare he have a minute to rest his brain after a long day of having it crammed full of medical knowledge??).

It was a great night and exactly what I needed to hear. I knew it would be because I wanted to hear what the Lord had prepared for me to hear. I am so grateful that I didn't pull the "I'm too tired because I'm pregnant" card and got my lazy butt off the couch! Thanks to all who spoke or participated. You made my day better and my life more inspired!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Invasion of the Home & Body Snatchers

When we were discussing and praying about having another baby, I was so excited. I missed having a little baby to snuggle up with, as my current child just wants to run, run, run and climb. (He climbed up on the table today and then cried when he couldn't figure out how to get down. I guess I should be thankful he didn't try to get himself down, he just cried until we saved him.) Umimportant was the fact that only just a few months ago, I began boxing up and putting away all the baby items that have cluttered up my house for months. Gone were the bottles, the pacifers, the walker, the swing, and so many more items that are must-haves when there is an infant in the house. It seemed like we were finally taking our house back! And now I have to get them back out again in a few months.

And to make matters worse, only a few months ago I finally got back down to the size I was before I had Jackson. I had worked so hard, and was feeling like a hardbody, lol, even though I was far from it. Now, at 10 weeks, my belly looks like I had one too many beers, and I have been forced to wear maternity pants already, not because my belly is too big for my regular jeans, but because my rear end is. (sigh)

I think I hate being pregnant. What a baby I am being about it this go-round, too! Before I got pregnant with Jackson, I was in the depths of despair after miscarrying my first pregnancy at the old age of 27. (I thought that was old to be having your first, anyway.) I was sure I would never get to be a mother. So when I got pregnant with Jackson, I loved every minute of it. I loved getting fat, I loved the attention, I ate whatever I wanted, I never worked out a day of my pregnancy, I got monthly pedicures, I treated myself like royalty. And I gained about 45 lbs.

Now, I am partially in denial that I am pregnant. I think the novelty of being pregnant has worn off. Although I am so excited to have another baby, I don't really think about it on a daily basis. I don't pamper myself - who has time? I try to watch what I eat (although I still do eat a lot of junk) because I know how hard it is to get it off. And now that I am about through the first trimester and not so tired all the time, I was in the gym last night hitting those eliptical machines and weights. I won't even tell you what my feet look like. At this point, I'm too embarrassed to go get a pedicure!

I hate the fact that no matter what I do, I am slowly losing control of my body. And I'm not just talking about the weight gain and change in shape. I hate that this growing fetus makes me so tired, that certain smells make me wanna retch, that I now have uncontrollable gas, that I'm going to have to deal with hemorrhoids again. There's no sense in sugar-coating it. Pregnancy takes over your body. You all know what I'm talking about.

But you know what, it's so worth it! ;)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Zest for Life

I'm actually feeling better this week. Minimal nausea (I have yet to throw up), certainly no lack of appetite, and minimal exhaustion, but I have been trying to get to bed earlier. In any case, it was a great week except for the mysterious poison ivy I have all over my left hand and left side of my face. I have absolutely no idea how I got poion ivy. I've never seen it in the backyard, none of the kids have it, Ben and Jackson do not have it, I haven't been anywhere where I might have gotten it, and yet, I have a blistery rash on my hand, fingers, chin and eye. Yes, I'm a scary sight to see right now. I went to the doctor today and he gave me a shot and a prescription, but I'm still itchy as anything and I have no self-control, I'm totally scratching. Ben is hunting, which is probably for the best because he is highly allergic to poison ivy; last night he slept on the loft couch so he wouldn't accidentally be exposed to my poionous oils. (sigh) If it's not one thing, it's another, right?

I know I say this all the time, but Jackson amazes me daily with the things he is picking up. He is so much fun right now! Here is a bulleted list of my favorite new words/actions he does lately.

-Landon (Lan-duh)
-Ow (owwww-ah)
-bites (bi-bi)
-juice (Joo)
-please (pwee)
-up, please (uh, pwee)
-diaper (bi-puh)
-stinky (tin-kee)
-baby (bay-bee)
-doggy (daw-gee)
-bath (bah)
-book (boo-ah)
-"What's that?" (I can't describe how this sounds, it is mostly a copy of the inflection I use when I say it, so I know that is what he is saying. Plus, he points. He has been doing this to trees a lot lately, and airplanes a few times.)

-He now goes to pull down the diaper mat whenever I have acknowledged that he has told me he needs a diaper change. He sits down, and will lay down willingly if I ask him to.)
-He brings me books and then demands I pick him up ("uh-pwee" insistently) and sticks the book in my face to let me know he wants me to read it to him. He has several favorite books, and is completely uninterested in others. Go figure...
-He is really into climbing right now, especially with the purpose of standing up on something higher than the ground. He climbs to standing on the seat of his push-pull bus, his birthday train from Nana, the kiddie chairs that sit at the round table in the playroom, the stuffed kiddie rocking chair, the slide in the backyard, etc. He also tries to stand up in the bathtub, but I have been telling him, "No, no, Jackson we don't stand up in the bathtub (or on the chairs, etc) that is not safe! It will hurt you. Ow!" Now he understands he needs to sit down, and does so promptly when requested to.
-He folds his arms on command, which is so cute because we got so excited when he first started doing it that we clapped and said "yeah," so now he does that after folding his arms, too.
-Dancing. He and Daddy have such fun dancing and being silly in the living room to the radio. In the end, everyone in the house is rolling with laughter.
-"Jackson, make your face!" To which he makes the most hilarious "oh" face with his lips pursed. SO CUTE! It makes everyone laugh who sees it. I don't know where he picked this up, but it is one of our favorites.
-He climbs the stairs unassisted, but with me or Ben right behind to prevent falling.
-He loves to put his Elmo shoes on. I need only say "Let's put your shoes on." one time and he runs to me!
-gives kisses (albeit open-mouthes kisses, often with tongue) and hugs (with a MM-mm sound effect)

This is about all I can think of right now, although I am sure there is more. His excitement and curiousity is so fun and contagious! One of my newer pre-k parents witnessed some of his talents today, and asked me when Jackson would be two. I proudly informed her that it would be a while because he was only 14 months. She seems shocked and impressed. I know I shouldn't be overly proud because truly I have nothing to gauge him against. I don't know what kids his age should be doing, but it seems to me that he is a little advanced. I guess I attribute it to being around all these older kids every day, but I am grateful that he is in good health, is learning so much so quickly, and is enjoying his life so far. We are so blessed!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Some of my favorite people

This is my super-cool aunt and best friend Sara. When our men go hunting together, Sara and I play the life of hunter's widows together. She is my closest confidante; my surrogate mother/sister with my family 5 hours away. She has raised 3 boys, has 2grandchildren, fought both cardiomyopathy and breast cancer, and is still the youngest and most beautiful 50-year-old I know. She gives the best advice and is always that honest friend everyone needs when shopping. She also reminds me not to spend too much money so I don't get in trouble with my husband. I love her and I just wanted to say Happy 50th Birthday, Sara! Don't kill me for posting this! ;)

This is my good friend Cassie Ray (now Wayman). We worked together at First Christian Church-Child Development Center in downtown Tulsa, OK for about a year and a half before I moved to Texas. I had just graduated with my teaching degree and Oklahoma schools were laying teachers off due to state budget cuts. Cassie was my assistant in the 3-4 year-olds Explorers classroom. She had worked there for several years prior to my hire date. She always came up with the cutest arts and crafts ideas, helped me balance all my new responsibilities, and taught me so much about how to work with kids that young when most of my experiences were with 1st grade and up. I grew to love younger kids, and now I use what she taught me every day with my new group of 3-4 year olds. Where would I be without Cassie?

Every year FCC-CDC closed for one week for training. One day of training our first summer together, a handsome fireman came with his team to help us get our CPR certificate. It was love at first sight. Then, Cassie was still working on her undergraduate as a English major. Now she has just completed her master's degree, currently teaches Honors and Pre-AP English to middle schoolers, and just married her handsome fireman! Congratulations, Cassie and Kyle!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Here's how my day went today.

5:15, Jackson did not get the daylight savings memo, so after less than 5 hours, I'm up to feed him and get ready for work
5:30, the smell of the food I'm preparing for him makes me want to hurl
6:00, Jackson plays, I lay down on the couch, exhausted already
6:30, Jackson plays with toys on the floor of the bathroom while I shower, hoping to wake up
7:15, Z. arrives, that kid can talk my ear off at 7:15, but he is such a cutie! All the while, I'm feeling sick to my stomach, think I'll have some hard candy
8:00-10:30 free play, group time (we're learning about Dinosaurs this week), then we watched about 20 minutes of The Land Before Time, which the kids really got into, then snack. I'm hungry, but nothing sounds good and I wanna hurl, but I don't.
10:30, go outside (inward groan, do we have to? Can't we just have naptime a little early?)
11:00, center play, calendar time (does this require standing on my part?)
11:30, lunchtime, opening each child's lunch sends new waves of nausea over me. Again, not hungry, but know I need to eat something at this point. But what? A healthy sandwich? nope. Some warm soup? yuck. A Salad? Don't even get me started with the runny tomatoes and mushy cucumbers. about some Halloween candy and donuts? MMMM, I start salivating.

If you haven't gathered by now, yes, I am pregnant. ;)

Ben and I were waiting to tell until after the first trimester, but I am almost through it now, and we went ahead and told our families over the weekend. Plus, I am a horrible secret keeper, so a lot of you probably already know. Finally the secret is out and I can blog about it! I am starting my 10th week, due June 9th, and believe it or not, we did plan this.

I close for the summer at the beginning of June so I'll have all summer with Jack and the new baby before I open back up at the end of August. Before you think I am crazy, I do know exactly what I am getting myself into. Ben is going to be busier than ever next year, and I'll be running a business with 2 kids of my own (one a newborn) and who knows how many others. However, when your husband is a med student there is no good time to have babies, so you just do it and you get through it. That is what I'll do. I'm handling it fine now with just being pregnant, just a little tired, and I'll be hiring an assistant as soon as I get 3 more kids, so I'll have help. I don't get morning sickness, really, just nausea, and that isn't so bad with the help of hard candy. Besides, in a few more weeks, I'll be through the worst, and feeling much more energetic.

Anyway, we are excited, and hoping for another boy! :)