Monday, November 7, 2011

Becoming an Individual

It started this summer when Carson was determined to wear his camo coat everywhere in 90 degree weather.  For the first time he was asserting his individuality. The "me do it myself" persona.  He refused to take this beloved coat off until he was beet red in the face and sweating.  He even wore it while we ran errands.  It looked pretty funny but it was okay with me because I wanted to support this new development.  Then it turned into wearing his bike helmet everywhere and picking out his own outfits.  Now I try and beat him to his dresser to pick something "cool" or at least presentable out.  If I don't, it's pretty much a guarantee that a massive fight about the Lightening McQueen shirt he has now worn three days in a row will ensue. He has no concept of "it needs to be washed honey." I usually talk him down with a hideous bright red robot shirt that he loves. The other day Josh looked at me and mouthed..."we need more Lightening McQueen shirts."  Then there was the day that I had to whisper a very quiet "Oh, Lord."  Meaning I silently prayed...dear God save me from this awful embarrassment of having to take him out in public looking like this! He had found his old snow boots from two years ago and had somehow shoved his growing size 10 feet into tiny size 5 boots.  I honestly couldn't even figure out how it was physically possible.  He would not take them off.  I had to remind myself...he's becoming an individual.  I ended up having to take them off after he had fallen asleep.  The "Oh, Lord" part came when he grabbed his Daddy's safety goggles and yes, put them on.  Also bear in mind, it was not cold out yet.  So he looked a little funny with teeny tiny snow boots and a pair of gigantic safety goggles on.  He is an individual, I say to myself and we packed it out of the house.  Thankfully, I've gotten used to the looks.  If only they knew that I had tried to convince him otherwise before leaving the house, however, he is an individual.

We were running errands the other day and as we were driving through the parking lot, a mother and her three-year old son walked out of the store and crossed in front of our car.  I had to do a double take because of what this little boy was wearing on his head.  It was none other than a cheap plastic bucket with the handle under his chin as if it were a strap.  I started laughing and was so thankful that I am not the only mother going through this.  I was also thankful that as of yet, Carson has not gone out wearing a bucket on his head.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Finding Contentment

Over the last few weeks, I have been learning how to be content from my almost three-year old son.    Over the last couple years I have been trying to drill into my brain the biblical concept that my joy and peace does not come from circumstances but from the Lord.  I know this and I  believe it. Yet, I was still struggling and after Emily was born, I had a very pitiful pity party.  I pretty much felt constantly sorry for myself. The world would say I was justified.  People are constantly telling me, "I could never do what you do."  Or asking me, "how are you holding up?" Which was only adding fuel to my self-pity fire.   You know what brought my pity party train to an abrupt halt?  Carson coming up and telling me "I love my house mommy."  My response was a questioning "you do...did you forget we share it with five old people?"  He then went into three-year old blabber  about exactly how much he loves our home and why.  I was flabbergasted and for the first time, I saw our living situation from the eyes of a toddler.   It made me think, why can't I love our house?

This new revelation wasn't an instant cure, but it did get me thinking.  Why does this not feel like home? What can I do to make our living situation not so chaotic?

I thought about what really needed to change and I changed it. I stopped crying and decided to take some action. I found someone to watch Carson one day a week so I could get the administration part of our business done from start to finish.  Now when I'm home with the kids, I don't have unfinished work tasks hanging over my head.  I even had time to charge my Kindle! Second, I decided to focus on being grateful.  When I started only thinking about the positive, I actually became overwhelmed by how blessed we are.  I even brought our decorations out of storage and started nesting.  Maybe the time of year is helping, but our home is starting to feel cozy and warm to me.  I feel bad for wasting so much time feeling sorry for myself but I am thankful that for now I am moving forward.

It's amazing that all it took was a simple sentence from a 21/2 year old. Thank you my dear son for getting me out of my funk.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Overcoming Breastfeeding Struggles

Breastfeeding my second baby did not go as planned.    Carson and I struggled a lot.  He was severely tongue-tied and could not even latch.  After extensive help from lactation consultants and a simple tongue-clip procedure we were able to successfully breastfeed.  He ended up breastfeeding until 19 months and I was extremely happy and fulfilled with our success.

It surprised me to be experiencing those same issues plus some with Emily.  I have to admit I was pretty emotional about it. She had to go through a tongue-clipping and upper lip clip.  It was extremely emotional and I was not sure I was making the right decision.  However, as we started to breastfeed successfully, I knew I had made the right choice.  Prior to the help we received, I was having extreme pain from her biting and her bubble palette that had formed due to her tongue-tie.  Once the pain was gone, the bonding started happening in greater amounts.  Not only is breast milk the best nutrition infants can receive, the added bonding was well worth the struggle.  It probably took me longer to get over the procedures than it did for her.

I am thankful that I now get to experience successful breastfeeding with Emme.  I am also thankful for the resources we have.  We have a plethora of lactation consultants.  It took me a few to finally see the right one for us. You have to be your own advocate in every area of health.  I also want to spread the message that it is possible to overcome breastfeeding challenges and it's worth the struggles involved.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Emme's Birth Story

Emily Rose was born at 5:20am on Thursday, August 11, 2011 and it was not the labor and birth I was expecting!

Things started on Tuesday.  Early that day I started having Braxton Hicks contractions.  They were pretty regular and I got to thinking that maybe that night labor was going to start.  However, nothing happened except that during the night the contractions became uncomfortable enough that I couldn't sleep.  Wednesday started and I was tired but carried on with my usual day still with contractions.  I could feel them now but they were still very light.  Finally, Wednesday evening they picked up.  At about 7pm I had my first painful contraction.  I was super excited.  This was it I thought!  Within a few hours I'll be holding my baby.  Yet nothing seemed to be happening.  My contractions were very sporadic and were not progressing.  Around 11:00pm we called our doula to see if she could come and tell us what she thought and help get things going.  She got there around 11:30 and things actually seemed to be stalling out.  We went for a walk and my contractions somewhat picked up but the second we stopped my contractions would practically disappear.  I was feeling very disappointed that my labor wasn't officially starting.  At this point I thought I would probably have my baby by Friday.  After our walk, I marched up and down the stairs yet things seemed to be slowing down even more.  By 1am our doula suggested we just get some rest and I agreed it was probably a really good idea. I was going on almost two nights of no sleep and I still had the real part of labor ahead of me.  Discouraged I laid down around 2pm and took an hour and a half nap.  I had some light contractions during that time about 20mins or more apart, they were almost light enough to sleep through.  Then at 3:30 I was awoken by a massive contraction that caused me to roll off the bed and crawl around on the floor.  The intensity surprised me.  After a few more contractions like that we called our doula.  Even though the contractions were still sporadic and 10 mins apart or more I was feeling pressure so she rushed over.  It only took her 20 mins to get to our house and by that time I wasn't sure I could make it up the stairs out of our house and to our car in the garage. I was having massive contractions and kept having to stop and throw up.  My mother-in-law, who we called to come over and crawl in bed with Carson, put together a puke bucket and rag for me for the car.  Wise woman!  As we got in the car and started driving it dawned on me that holy crap, we have to call our midwife!  Josh made the call as we were driving and during this time my contractions were very strong.  My midwife heard me in the background and knew I was pretty far along.  We got to the hospital at 5am.  As I got out of the car in the parking garage, I was super emotional.  I thought I still had to go through transition.  Here I was determined to go natural and was thinking that I might just have to have an epidural. The contractions were much more painful than with Carson's birth and  I still thought the worst was ahead of me. The normal sign posts of transition just weren't there and they didn't show up until I was ready to push.  Little did I know, I walked into the hospital at 10cm.  They tried to get me admitted, but there was no time.  I went into the bathroom and my midwife checked me and said I was complete and I let out a very grateful and loud "thank God."  (During this time I was begging to get in the bath, I really didn't know how close I was to having a baby) Soon after I had a couple of really intense contractions and before I knew it, I was pushing.  The urge just completely took over my body.  Our midwife and nurses were urgent that I get to the bed.  Josh and my doula helped me over there.  I got over to the bed and they kept insisting that I sit down.  Yeah right!  I tried but I could tell I was clearly going to sit on Emme's head and I thought to myself, forget this, and turned around and crawled up on the bed and was on my hands and knees and instantly started pushing with all my strength.  It was something I could tell the labor and delivery nurse didn't see very often. Within a couple of pushes her head was out and everyone shouted out for me to slow down. I could feel her moving around, turning, trying to decide which way she wanted her shoulders to go.  Finally I had the go ahead and with just a few more pushes she was out.

My little sweetie had been posterior with her hand on her face which is why my labor had been so sporadic and the contractions had been more painful than with Carson.  Also, I'm glad I listened to my instincts and got on my hands and knees because it gave her more room to turn and come out and also prevented me from massively tearing which a posterior baby can do.  I barely had an abrasion.

It was the perfect birth.  Not at all what I was expecting.  I figured once labor actually started it would steadily progress from there until the birth of our child.  I pictured laboring through transition in the jacuzzi tub at the hospital.   However, it worked out for the best.  We had planned to do most of our laboring at home to prevent interventions like IV fluids and pitocin (or augmentation of any kind) or even an epidural.  Showing up ready to push definitley prevented a lot.  Plus, I got to labor like I wanted. Although it was a very short time, it was calm, quiet, and peaceful at our house.  I listened to the birth mix I had put together and Josh helped me work through each contraction. When I got to the hospital, my labor wasn't interrupted by a hep-lock or by being strapped to a fetal monitor.  It was a great compromise to the home birth I really wanted and Emme got to be born in the same hospital her Dad was born at 28 years earlier.

It was a special time for Josh and I.  We got to really bond with this birth and I showed up to the hospital in peace.  After Emme was born it was so relaxed.  After a short time of clearing fluids and wiping her off, they gave her to me and I held her and we talked while we waited for the cord to stop pulsing.  Josh then got to cut the cord which is something he didn't get to do with Carson.  I held her a bit longer and then Josh got to take her over to be weighed and put on her first diaper. (He was beaming!  I don't think I've ever seen him so happy)   She was never taken away for tests or shots.  After things settled down, the nurse asked "alright, can I finally get you admitted."  It was really special.  I listened to her birth mix again today and I almost cried.  We knew what we wanted but God knew what we needed. His plans are always so much better than our own.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Can we do without plastic toys?

Carson's toys have been the greatest challenge.  Despite trying to be careful, the majority of his toys are plastic and from China.   Plus he doesn't just have a few.  He has A LOT of toys.  The other day we were up at one of my favorite stores located on a farm with lots of cozy and beautiful nick knacks.   This store has a small section for children.  Carson was immediately drawn to that area and picked out a Noah's ark set that was made of fabric.  Carson loved it and it was really cute, plus not plastic so I figured we could splurge.  As we were driving home I read the tags on one of the animals, the outside was polyester, no surprise there, the inside was made of PVC beads.  WHAT!?  I was shocked.  Although I'm not sure why.

PVC contains high levels of lead and a lot of other nasty stuff as well.  PVC, lead paint, phtlalates, and BPA, a substantial hormone disruptor make up the majority of plastic toys available.  Plastic toys are cheap, easy to obtain (easy for kids to spot), and a favorite it seems by Grandmas.  Some of Carson's favorite toys are plastic, like his fire truck and play kitchen.   Plus what do you do when your little girl grows up and wants a Barbie.

The chemicals in toys seem to be getting worse and kids are actually dealing with lead poisoning.  The majority of kids' plastic toys have been found to exceed the legal lead limit, yet unless it is extremely high, the toy company is not required to do a recall.  I also recently read that even if something is labeled BPA free does not mean it is safe.  The chemical BPA is then replaced with another chemical that is just as highly toxic. Nice marketing right!

So what do we do?  It seems almost impossible to completely restrict plastic.  The whole toy department is filled with them.  Plus gifts from others, especially family.  Do you put on party invitations, no plastic please?  Does this all seem too over the top?  Sometimes I rationalize that I played with plastic toys and I'm fine, but am I really?  I have several health issues caused by hormone disruption.  Maybe toys played a part, maybe not.

It makes me want to throw out all of Carson's toys and start anew.  He might just be better off too.  Less toys means more creativity.  Growing up my mom had a small toy box for me.  I was only allowed to own however many toys would fit in the box.  I despised her growing up for this but now as an adult I really appreciate what she did.  I learned to be creative, think outside the box, and go outside to play.  A lot of those qualities are lacking in children growing up presently.

Thankfully there is a brand gaining popularity which is Green Toys.  Their toys are manufactured in the USA and contain no traceable amounts of PVC, BPA, or phthalates.  They are a good alternative to the ever so popular toxic plastic.

Do you think you could do a toy overhaul?  Is it something you find important?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Waiting for Emme

I'm 38 weeks!  I'm having a hard time being patient, waiting for labor to start.  At the same time I'm hoping she takes a bit because I have so much to do before she gets here!  Getting a little nervous about caring for a newborn, toddler, and keeping up with a 24/7 business.  Will Josh be able to adjust?  He's already burned out.  Will Carson have an utter meltdown since I will no longer be focusing on only him?  Am I ready for the amount of pain coming very soon?  Not to mention will our puppy freaking potty train before she's here!? My mind has been flooded with various thoughts.

However, excitement and peace are still the top ranking thoughts.  Peace that God will bring her out of my womb in his perfect timing.  Peace that the birth is going to be beautiful no matter what unexpected things may come.  Peace that she will perfectly fit into our lives because God understands what we need and what we can handle.

Now I just have to wait!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

We had a scare this last week.  During my 36-week check up with one of my midwives, she thought little Emme might be breach and then asked me how I felt about a c-section.  Yikes!  Not what I wanted to hear so late in the pregnancy.  However, an ultrasound the next day confirmed that she is in fact head down!  HUGE relief.

Seeing my little girl on the ultrasound really got me excited for the birth, especially now that I can go on with the natural birth I have planned!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mr. Social

Sorry it has been so long since I have posted last.  We have been very busy with the business, an active toddler, and a pregnancy.

Thankfully our schedule is going to slow down a bit so I should be able to keep up again:)

Carson has become Mr. Social.  He went through a shy stage that we thought was pretty normal.  Both Josh and I were extremely shy growing up so we thought he would be the same. Well Carson has seemed to grow out of it.  He now wants to say hi to everybody and I mean everybody.  Even people who don't want to say hi to him.  Which really bugs me.  How can you not say hi back to an adorable two year old!  The nerve of some people.  However, it is teaching him about the real world, it's just hard as a mom to watch.

This new social interest is also causing Josh and I to step out of our box a bit.  I don't think I've ever talked to strangers so much in my life!  Suddenly I'm striking up conversations with random people at the grocery store as I interpret what my son is trying to say to them.  Plus what he's trying to say is usually very two-year old oriented.  "Hi, HI, I have Lightening McQueen on my shoes.  He goes fast and my shoes light up...see...oh they didn't light up...sorry blows raspberry."  When I interpret these conversations people look at me like my child is strange.  Oh well, it makes sense to a two year old and I happen to find it adorable :)  I make sure to reassure Carson since I think his new budding social life is good for him.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Me: "Did you dust the house like I had asked?"
Josh: "Yup"
Me: "You Did?"
Josh: "Uh huh"
Me: "Then why is all the furniture dusty?"
Josh: "You asked me to dust the house, so I dusted it"
Me: "What does that mean? Isn't the furniture part of the house?"
Josh: "Well if you wanted the furniture dusted, then why didn't you ask me to dust the furniture?"
Me: "So what exactly did you dust? I'm confused."
Josh: "The house!"

This is a dialogue Josh and I recently had when I asked him to dust the Adult Family Home because it was looking a little fuzzy. I am still flabberghasted by the differences between communication of a husband and wife. Even after almost 7 years of marriage my jaw still drops in response to the casm there is between our two brains. We never cease to learn and grow in this area and hopefully we never will. It amazes me that God created us so differently yet with the ability to complement each other so well (at least with a little work ;).

After picturing our conversation above, I could totally see Josh walking through the house with a swiffer duster dusting the walls and corners thinking what a great job he's doing :) And I'm sure he did an excellent job. By no means is he lazy. Just next time I'll remember to include the furniture in my request.

Monday, April 11, 2011

April Update

Did I mention I'm pregnant with a girl?  Pretty shocking.  It's taking a little getting used to. Not sure what to do with the 9 large storage bins of Carson's clothes that I saved.  Even hauling it to Goodwill seems like a lot of work!  I'm still saving some of my favorite outfits of his...just in case.  I won't really fully believe this baby is a girl until I give birth to this child and check for myself.  The ultrasound was pretty undeniable.  Even with my lack of training I could easily identify this baby as a girl.   Of course I had the tech prove it to me!  I was convinced there was something hiding somewhere.  However, I heard Josh chanting "I told you so" next to me.  He's been sure from the beginning this baby is a girl.  I guess Daddy's have instincts too.

Carson seems excited too.  He loves picking out girl shoes (should I be concerned?).  I passed down my shoe fetish to my son :).  He's starting to understand the concept that there is a baby in my belly, although he can't understand why his sister can't just come out.  The waiting is a little hard for him to grasp.

I had an epiphany this last month...Carson is growing up and I need to treat him as such.  He was such an easy baby.  I never had to reprimand him until the 18 month mark or so and even then rarely.  We hit the twos and I guess I was still in baby mode.  I realized (with Josh's help) he is lacking respect.  So I'm taking my role as teacher more seriously.  It's time to crack down and be the mom of a toddler.  Results so far have been great.  He actually listened to me today!  Woohoo land of victory!  It feels good now but getting into the correct frame of mind required some letting go and mourning the loss of his babyhood. I had to stop looking at him as the sweet 14 month old that never tested me and as the 21/2 year old that he is.  Sort of a reality shock.  However, feels good to live in reality. 

We also established family movie & pizza night.  One night a week we either make pizza, heat up some frozen, or order in and enjoy a movie as a family together.  I hope as Carson grows this night becomes special to him because it is the one and only night he gets to stay up past his bedtime.  Josh and I have been surprised by how much we look forward to this night!  It gets to Thursday and we're giddy the whole day.  It's been fun and fulfilling starting a family tradition. I highly suggest creating one! 


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Homemade Felt Board

Carson refuses to go into nursery at church so instead of trying to force him to stay there each Sunday, I decided it was time to start brainstorming ideas for quiet activities he can do while staying with us in church.  I was over at my mom's house one night running things by her and trying to get ideas and her good friend was over and she mentioned that she had made felt boards for her kids to play with only during church so it was special.  I had been wanting to make a felt board anyway so decided that was the perfect idea.  So I spent a couple hours cutting out animals shapes and gluing them together.  Now we have a cute felt board ready for church tomorrow.  I also cut out a bunch of regular shapes.  I thought of creating different food but ran out of energy.

The project cost me less than $5 and I have a ton of leftover felt that I can use to make felt boards for birthday presents this year for all of Carson's little friends.
Steps for a homemade felt board:
1. Purchase cheap picture frame.  (I think I paid a $1 for this at Walmart)
2. Buy Various Colors of felt
3. Glue main felt piece (I chose blue) to picture frame backing and dispose of glass insert. (I used a fabric stick glue) I then cut the extra felt off around the edges until it was flush with the backing.  Then I placed piece back into frame.
4. Create your felt pieces and you're done!  Possibilities are endless.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Meal Planning

I'm trying to get back into meal planning. Since moving into our adult family home we have been overwhelmed with adjusting to the lack of a 9-5 schedule for the hubby and it's been a challenge no longer officially being a stay-at-home mom. Things like a dinner menu have gone by the wayside. Now that we have a little more employee help, I'm trying to regain some normalcy and also restore health and healthy family habits to our lives. It is a challenge because some nights two dinners are required, one for our residents and one for us. That can be exhausting. Some nights I can combine the two which is helpful so I will be trying to do a mix of both. Our residents eat a very light dinner which we don't mind every other night or so but we'd go crazy after a whole weak of that. I love my comfort dinners!

I'm looking forward to home cooked dinners again and I know my family is as well. One thing at a time right? Next is figuring out how to keep my house clean on top of everything else.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Hugs & Kisses - The Essential Part of our Discipline

The beginning of this pregnancy was no cake walk.  I was more exhausted this time around and that made my morning sickness much harder to deal with.  Then I had a few weeks on bed rest during that time.  Through all of this, Carson didn't get much mommy time.  I was too tired and had absolutely no motivation to do anything.  Plus the smell of another person, including my precious son, set my morning (all day) sickness off.  Carson didn't get a lot of love and attention from me for a period of about three months.  Do you think it's a coincidence then that he became out of control during this time?  My poor hubby's head was spinning trying to figure out what happened to our once happy and obedient toddler (well, at least most of the time :).  Finally, when some of my energy started returning and my morning sickness was fading a little I realized how little I had been hugging and kissing my little guy, which is something I did a lot (I can't help it, he's just too cute!).  I immediately started planting kisses on his cheek while he was playing or hug him randomly.  With just this little change his devil horns were starting to disappear.  As more of my energy returned, I added in play time and one-on-one attention and what do you know!?  Our little guy was back.  We could once again go out in public. Our house became much more peaceful.  Now, time, love, and attention are my #1 priorities in order to keep his good behavior up and his bad behavior at bay.  It takes time and energy but for us, it is well worth the effort.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Eternal Encouragements Magazine Newsletter Review

When I found out that this months mission as a Gabby Mom was to review a newsletter, I have to admit I was a tad disapointed.   I already receive a ton of newsletters and adding another one on the list during such a busy month didn't get me on the edge of my seat in excitement.  What happened though surprised me.  I received two newsletters to review and as I started reading the first newsletter instead of it just being something on my to do list, I really enjoyed it.  I receive no other newsletters like this one.  I receive health newsletters and toddler/baby newsletters and a slew of others that have just randomly showed up in my inbox, but I do not have a single one that is spiritually encouraging to me.  It really dawned on me through this process how important that spiritual encouragement is. 

What did I love so much about this newsletter?  It was laid out very well.  Starting with a letter from Lorrie with spiritual encouragement, then onto some discounts (woohoo!), and more encouraging content.  Another love was the Chick Flicks for Moms.  I was surprised by how great these little tid bits were.  It was also great seeing Lorrie herself speaking encouragement to us moms.  It put a face and voice to all the wonderful things I have been reading.  I ended up watching the majority of the videos on her Chick Flicks site I'm now officially hooked.

 (Click on the picture above to sign up for the Encouraging Moments Newsletter)

"While talking to women, one thing I hear often is, "I'm not happy." I cannot count the number of times I have had to gently say that happiness is not a right. Marriage isn't supposed to make you happy. It's supposed to make you married. It's your job to make your marriage happy and satisfying."  

This mindset is what literally saved my marriage back in our younger years.  We were sorely mistaken by the amount of work a marriage takes.  Finally, when we stopped trying to fix each other and started fixing ourselves did our marriage turn around and with this kind of mindset it has continued to get better and better.

"Secondly, you have to put the Bible where the dirt has been. Take a Bible bath daily."   

Take a Bible bath daily.  Maybe I shouldn't be focusing so much on the relaxing shower I wanted to take or think of other things besides my hubby remodeling our bathroom so I can take a bubble bath!  It's been awhile since I've taken a Bible bath, since I've really dug deep into what the scripture is saying instead of getting some verses read because that's what I am supposed to do.  

I'm looking forward to the regular encouragement, like what is mentioned above, that I am going to receive by having subscribed to this newsletter.    

You can find other encouraging resources and products at

*Disclaimer: I am reviewing Encouraging Moments as an official member of The Gabby Moms blogging program for Eternal Encouragement magazine.  I did not receive compensation for this post and all opinions are solely my own.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

August Baby!

So I am finally "announcing" the good news that I'm pregnant!  I am now 15 weeks along and because I'm not showing yet, I guess I haven't felt as much pressure to actually tell others.  Our family knows and some close friends, but that has been pretty much it.  After the last miscarriage, I sort of felt that if I shared the news, I would jinx the pregnancy.  It's taken me awhile to get up the courage to talk about this pregnancy.

I have no idea why I would have any fear.  Not only do I have the Lord on my side, but my first trimester was worse than with Carson.  I missed three months of life.  I spent most of my time hugging the toilet or sleeping.  Obviously baby was doing okay.  My hunch is that the hubby was secretly happy about my morning sickness.  Each time as I was hunched over in pain trying to hold onto what little I ate, I would hear "at least we know the baby's okay."  I really got tired of hearing that.  Yet I panicked when I hit 14 weeks and my nausea was gone.  I guess it became my comfort zone.

I have been really trying to get into this pregnancy and it has been somewhat of a challenge.  Now that I'm feeling better I even forget I'm pregnant sometimes.  Maybe because it's not my first pregnancy.  Or because I'm not showing.  I have also had nothing to do this pregnancy.  As soon as I became pregnant with Carson, I launched myself into a ton of research regarding the kind of birth I wanted.  It was probably above and beyond what is considered normal and I spent the entire pregnancy doing so. I have nothing left to really look into this time.  I may read a few books but I already have the birth planned out so I'm not in a huge hurry to get started.  

We get to find out gender in a few weeks and even though I was playing with the idea of a surprise, finding out and being able to plan will give me something to do for this baby and I'm looking forward to that.  Crossing my fingers for a girl, but will be very happy either way. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Little Hunter

Josh and I were watching the most terrible documentary last night.  By terrible I mean rather unbelievable.  It was about Stone Henge and maybe there was some truth to it but the majority of the documentary seemed to be taken up by snippets of what life was like in 4000 b.c. by portraying out there stories.  So the whole time Josh and I were saying how ridiculous this was, how do they know if two brothers went hunting on sacred ground and were frightened by spirits?  Anyway during this time of bashing the film, Carson was apparently watching the two brothers hunt with fascination.  These two hunters took down a pig with bows and arrows and that was the end of the story.  Carson wanted to know what happened to the pig after that. While I was thoughtfully trying to think of what to say to a two year old on this subject, Josh blurts out that they took it home and cooked it.  My jaw dropped!  In my mind I'm thinking that Carson is picturing fuzzy animals being cooked.  Yet to my surprise Carson had the opposite reaction I thought he would.  He thought it was cool and talked incessantly for the next 20 minutes about how they took the pig home and cooked it and ate it, all the while showing us how they hunted him.   Then he stops and demanded his hat, coat and boots so he could go hunt a pig too.  Finally, we were able to convince him that there were no wild pigs in our neighborhood. Sometimes it shocks me how fast little boys become boys. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011


This is a subject that would have had me running...that is before having a child.  I always thought my mom was a saint for taking care of me when I was sick and cleaning up after me when I couldn't make it to the bathroom.  Then I got married and my hubby took over the role my mother previously had, elevating his level to sainthood. 

Throw up is actually something I feared dealing with as a parent (how silly is that!?). I have a strong stomach for other things, I'm a caregiver for goodness sake, yet seeing vomit, makes me...vomit. 
I was very pleased when Carson was a little over a year and I met my first challenge head on.  I didn't even gag as he threw up every 20 mins all over me, the couch, and the floor then smearing it everywhere the entire night.  With calm reserve I quickly wiped away the messes.  My husband looked at me like an amazing warrior...he was proud of me as he quickly went to hide away from the nastiness. 

Having a toddler means that my strength is tested often.  He picks up every little virus he comes into contact with.  It dawned on me this last time, just a few days ago, how awesome it feels to be a mom.  As I held his little bucket and helped him sit up from sleep to take care of business, it amazed me at the strength you get just from becoming a mom.  It just happens.  You don't even realize it or see it happening but before you know it you're stronger than you ever thought you'd be.  It took me awhile to become a true mama bear but oh boy I now have no problem letting out a nice growl (or roar as necessary).   

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Moving Forward

So Josh and I are still trying to make our new "home" a home.  Our partially finished/unfinished basement is already getting old.  It might also be that I'm tired of winter!  We have been feeling a little down because of that and the fact that our Adult Family Home License is taking FOREVER.  The State has had our application for 5 months.  Seriously, how much longer people.  This morning we woke up and decided that we should start working on our space by organizing and get everything ready to finish down here.  We dug right in and started going through our back storage room (soon to hopefully be Carson's room) and we got a page from our employee upstairs that the State Licensor is here.

Our employee was excited and we came bounding up the steps excited because we thought it was for our change of ownership process and we were finally getting licensed.  Nope, just the annual inspection.  BIG let down.  Although it was rather funny because the inspector had never seen that happy of a reaction before!  Thankfully she was very nice and it did give us practice for our big inspection.  But we were bummed and it reminded us, once again, that we are still in limbo waiting for our license.

Then I get a voice mail on my phone from the woman in government that had been working on our license and guess what!?  Things are finally moving forward.  We should hear from our state inspector in a week.  Lol.  Not sure why they couldn't have timed that out better.  We'll now be having two inspections in just a couple of weeks.  However, we are thrilled!  So excited to move forward and have all of our life changes pay off and also return to a more normal way of being the stay-at-home mom (which we have all missed, including the hubbs).

This is all in perfect timing because I made an executive decision to change our schedule recently.  The new schedule is reducing our hours by quite a bit but we need to provide a life for our little guy, and I decided that burning ourselves out before becoming the official owners was a bad idea.  We're good at budgeting so I convinced Josh we could take it in the shorts until the license goes through.  Thankfully, or hopefully rather, that won't be very long!!!!  I'm so very thankful for a God that provides!  Looking forward to the future.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Book Review: True Treasures

I had the pleasure of reviewing True Treasures  for Teach Magazine, now known as Eternal Encouragement Magazine, you can check out their website at

True Treasures is a compilation of articles that have been published in Teach Magazine over the last 10 years.  They took the most encouraging articles and compiled them into one great book.  Reading this book became the highlight of my day.  As a wife, mom, and homemaker I received great encouragement and inspiration.  Before I knew what had happened my house was staying cleaner and my attitude was a little better. 

True Treasures is divided into six chapters that each have their special focus: Jewels that Make the Heart Sparkle, Marriages of Solid Gold, Parenting Pearls: Practical and Priceless, Homemaking That Dazzles Like Diamonds, Homeschooling Nuggets of Wisdom, and Godly Living that Glitters.

I loved each chapter and it is nearly impossible to say what my favorite articles are since they were all great, but the articles that impacted me the most were: "I'm a Homemaker...Period," "Do Your Children Rise and Call You Blessed, or Grouchy?" and "Letting Your Home Spread God's Message." 

Don't you love the title "Do your Children Rise and Call You blessed, or Grouchy.?"  I was convicted before I even started reading the article!  That article helped change my perspective on when I should be up.  My drive to sleep in just five minutes longer has dissipated.  I want my children to call me blessed! 

This book really has helped me become more focused on my homemaking.  It reminded me that our homes are also a place for ministry, something I easily forget. This treasure had so many nuggets of important wisdom that I can easily say it is...

highly recommended!

Plus, good news!  From now until May 31, 2011 you can use the coupon code GabbyMom to save $4 off of True Treasures.

Disclaimer: "I received this product for honest review from TEACH Magazine as a part of The Gabby Moms blogging program.  All opinions expressed are solely my own." 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Name!

So I changed the blog name and URL address.  I decided it was time since we are planning for more children and My Life With Carson didn't really fit anymore.  I chose the original blog name, My Life With Carson, to sort of journal how raising a high need child has changed us as parents and as individual people.  The new title, Simply Life (in Progress) was chosen to convey how we are continually changing and growing as parents and as individual people and how we are trying to do all that while keeping a simple life.  Simplicity has always been important to my hubby and I and it shapes our goals and dreams and how we raise our little guy.  Sticking to the basics of needs, and some wants, but mostly meaning home cooked meals, homemade bread, veggies from the garden, etc...  Trying our hardest not to be influenced by external superficial forces.  It can be tough and sometimes we are going to struggle and you will read about it but I will also be sharing our triumphs too. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Terrible Twos?

Does that phrase drive you nuts?  Personally, I can't stand it.  Lately when someone asks Carson's age and I say two, the immediate response is..."oh terrible twos, hang in there mama."  Labeling a little child just feels wrong to me.  I know dread stating his age.  Especially when I see it as an age of growth.  I now have the responsibility to shape his character and it's an honor to me.  Yes, there are days it's hard.  Eating out as a family is becoming impossible because sitting still for that long is absolute torture for him.  That's a good thing though!  It's forcing us to eat in more saving us money and from an unhealthy burden on our bodies.  The blessings of this age far outweigh any work I have to put in.   The increasing independence has been nice, but his budding character development has been down right awesome.  Josh and I are having so much fun with Carson at this age.  I have been loving each stage of his development as the "best."  I thought when he was a newborn that nothing would be as great as this, then when he started to sit up, crawl, walk, talk, and interact I've thought the same thing.  Next time someone tells me..."oh, the terrible twos,"  I'll say "no, actually they're terrific."



It feels so good when everything has a place.  Josh and I both believe that a chaotic environment = chaotic behavior in children (and maybe even adults).  Our space was getting a little chaotic.  Especially after Carson received a plethora of toys from his birthday and Christmas which was added to our already jam packed collection.  I've had my eye on this cubby organizer for awhile and since we were blessed with a little Christmas money, I felt it was time to splurge.  Josh probably could have built it for much less but I felt it was well worth the money.  You really can't put a price on sanity. 

The unexpected joy from this has been more personal one-on-one time with Carson.  Since his toys are organized by category, I pick a tote and we play with that item.  Then it gets put away before another item comes out. Which has also been teaching Carson how to pick up after himself.  It's glorious!  We still have a few scattered toys around the house and that's okay.  I'm not expecting perfection here!