Art (4) baby (5) blogs (3) cleaning (4) Dear Mom (5) educational (13) entertainment (11) Free Stuff (3) fun (8) Grrumbles (4) humor (14) issues (10) lunch (3) Medical (9) My Family (13) pregnancy (1) Preschoolers (5) Products (3) reading (1) safety (4) solutions (19) Teens (1) Toddlers (5) Tweens (3)

Monday, September 29, 2008

What is That?

My youngest child has a new favorite phrase. She walks around the house or the neighborhood asking quite intently "What is that?" and then she will gleefully tell you exactly what that is most of the time. This really is akin to the "Why?" phase that most children go through. There is no end to this constant inquiry and I often find myself irate with the frustrations of hearing those little words over and over again. I have to remind myself how important this phase is to our parent / child relationship.

Her: "What is that?" (imagine a toddler with a southern drawl...)
Me: "A car."
Her: "What is that?"
Me: "A car."
Her:"What is that?"
Me: "I don't know. What is that?"
Her:"A car." (very self satisfied that Mommy did not know and she did)

Five minutes later

Her: "What is that?"
Me: "A car."
Her: "What is that?"
Me: "A car."
Her:"What is that?"
Me: "I don't know. What is that?"
Her:"A car."

It would be very easy for me to declare a cease fire to the questions and simply refuse to respond to the constant chattering that declares an unreasonable need to know "What is that?" every time I turn around. However, I recognize that this early game of chatter does lay a path for future communications. If I turn her away now, when she so readily accepts conversation and discussion, then I turn her away from communicating openly later when it really matters. If I exhibit patience (somehow) and answer frequently and even play along by asking her the same question when I know she'll have the answer, then she learns that I am open to discussing issues that may not always be fun for me.

Now, I suppose I should tell you that my child does not fully understand the dynamics of this game of communication. She only knows that she enjoys asking me over and over and over and over and over and over...ahem... sorry, I digress. To her, this is just great fun. Yet as I respond to her questions, while she secretly giggles because she already knows what that is, I show her that I am willing to be available and answer her questions no matter how silly those questions may be.

Well, it's been fun visiting with you today. Unfortunately, I must go identify common everyday objects for my incorrigible 2 yr old.

"What is that?"

Friday, September 26, 2008

Just for Pet...

I was visiting Petula today and saw that she had another one of her tag posts up. She didn't actually tag me this time, probably because she knows how crazy my life is right now and figured I might not ever get around to looking at her current posts.

Well, just for Pet I decided to answer her questions because I know how much she enjoys it when I do this (and I'm running a bit low on ideas right now with my current state of mental and emotional overload.)

I did see that I'm supposed to only use one word to answer these questions. However, since this is an unofficial tagging - I'm not bound by the rules, so I'm choosing to ignore that.

1. Where is your cell phone? Right beside me

2. Where is your significant other? At his mom's house spending the night with her because she had a heart cath today and needs to have somebody nearby "just in case."

3. Your hair color? blond

4. Your mother? Helping me a lot right now. She comes and helps with laundry and dishes and other stuff. She cooks for me and brings food so I don't have to stress so much about keeping up with everything.

5. Your father? He just stopped by a couple of hours ago to visit the girls. Odd - really...but hey, just go with the flow...

6. Your favorite thing? uncontrolled giggles from little girls

7. Your dream last night? I don't recall.

8. Your dream/goal? I want to publish a book based on my blog content.

9. The room you’re in? Dining room

10. Your hobby? Reading, Scrapbooking, Sudoku, Blogging,

11. Your fear? Losing my children

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? I don't really know.

13. Where were you last night? Home - except for a short time when I drove over to Randall's carpool buddy's house to take her some Salmon Loaf that I cooked for dinner as a surprise.

14. What you’re not? Complicated and High Maintenance

15. One of your wish-list items?

16. Where you grew up? Georgia

17. The last thing you did? Put a movie in for my non-sleeping children

18. What are you wearing? Clothes

19. Your TV? Inherited

20. Your pet? Cats - too many

21. Your computer? Acer Laptop and a Gateway desktop

22. Your mood? Exhausted

23. Missing someone? Missing quiet...missing sleep...missing simplicity --- yeah, maybe even missing somebody...

24. Your car? Mazda5

25. Something you’re not wearing? Socks - bra - watch - makeup - jewelry (not even my rings right now)

26. Favorite store? Dollar Tree

27. Your summer? Stressed

28. Love someone? Of Course

29. Your favorite color? Blue

30. When is the last time you laughed? Today

31. Last time you cried? Today

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Hard Decisions

Randall and I were talking last night about certain issues that are often difficult to discuss. It occurred to me that it would be a good idea to talk about the information here, as well, because parents do find it hard to consider what may happen if they are no longer around to care for their children. And yet, being prepared for that possibility is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children. Parents have a responsibility to make decisions about their lives and the lives of their children in the event of unforseen incidents.

First, you and your partner need to have a Living Will. It may be uncomfortable to discuss these issues and consider the possibility that you may one day be in the position of dealing with the irreversible illness of you or your partner. This important document dictates what will happen to you should you be placed on life support without any chance of recovery. Having this document can save your family a great deal of heart ache and hassle. It also prevents your partner from having to make the decision on his or her own because you've discussed ahead of time what you would want to be done in this situation. There are many sites that can help you create your own living will without any cost at all. After you have this document, you need to make sure a copy is given to your medical providers.

Second, you need a Power of Attorney. Having a power of attorney will determine who you wish to have control of your money and your care should you become incapable of making these decisions on your own. This document has to be completed prior to the time when it is necessary because if you are unable to make decisions about your health and money, then the courts will not recognize your ability to decide who should be in charge. The result could easily be a lengthy battle between relatives to determine who will be in charge of you and your money.

Third, you need a will. You really, really need to have a will when you have children. If you and your partner were to be involved in a fatal accident, the custody of your children is determined by the courts unless you have a will that indicates your wishes. Of course, the courts can still award custody to someone else if they deem your choice to be unsuitable, but it is far more likely that the person you would choose to raise your children in the event that you were gone would get to fulfill that task if you have it in writing. While considering your choice, be sure to include a second and third option just in case your first choice is unwilling or unable to be appointed as legal guardian.

So - if you haven't already - go talk to your partner and make some tough decisions. You do not need a lawyer to create a living will and a power of attorney. These documents can be done online and then printed and notarized.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Mom Song

THIS video is absolutely hilarious. A friend of mine directed me to the video while asking me to help her figure out how to get it posted. Well, in order to be able to give her the proper directions I have to refresh my memory. Lucky me, this is worthy of hanging around. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Favorites - Updated

I've decided to do an updated post about Kira's favorites. Here are her favorites as of today. I thought you might enjoy seeing how these things change. I'm also doing this as a way to preserve these changes for my own sentimental purposes.

Color - purple

Shirt - any purple shirt

Shoes - purple flip flops

Book - Pony book

Song - pony song --- (anybody have any idea what that is?)

Movie - My Little Pony movies

Food - Macaroni & Cheese

Drink - Grape Juice

Toy - Ponies

Pet - Turtle

Place - The store with the rides - where Santa Claus lives. That would be Santa Town at Lake Lanier.

Person - Grandma Janet - I suppose I've been replaced by the Grandma. I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later...

Bug - Lady Bugs (At least some things are still the same.)

Flower - Daisies

Cat - Coco

Monetize Your Blog

Don't we all want to make a little extra money?

Wouldn't it be nice if you could do that by just doing what you do anyways?

I've noticed that many of my blogging friends have been talking about how to make extra money through their blog. Well, I'm a member of where I write articles for pay. One of my friends on triond wrote an article about making money on blogs. Well, I like the article and the videos so much that I feel the need to share this with you.

Take some time to visit the article - Blog Monetization: How to Wring Money From Your Blog - and watch the videos and such. You may find something useful. I know I have found these videos to be useful.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Money Making

I've been thinking for a while about how I can take my artistic talent and put it to good use. I have a great deal of artistic energy with no real useful outlet.

Well, my dear readers, I have come up with a few ideas. You get to be my critique committee. Don't you feel so lucky? I've decided that I may be able to turn that energy into cold hard cash, well, at least a little bit anyways.

First, I'm going to start making gift baskets to sell. I believe there is a good market for this type of product. However, in order for me to succeed I need to get the word out about my new venture. I will be posting pictures soon for you to review and pass the word around about. If you know anybody who would be interested in ordering a custom made basket for a special gift, please send them my way. I have experience in making gift baskets

Second, I crochet baby blankets. I believe I'll start trying to make those and sell them, too.

Third, I make hand made purses. Some of you even have a purse or two. Did you notice how I included an extra purse for you since you all had to wait so long to get your prize? Feel free to tell all your friends where it came from and how to order their very own. I have multiple designs and colors and no two purses are ever exactly alike since they were all made by hand by me. (Now that you have it in your possession, perhaps you could tell me what you would be willing to pay for something of that nature if you saw it at a craft show... )

Fourth, I would like to try to venture into scrapbook services for those moms who want their memories preserved in a scrapbook but have no time or artistic energy to devote to such a task.

You may wonder why I'm posting all this here. I know I have many regular readers who know and love me and will be more than willing to help me spread the word. I also know that you will give me honest feedback on the realistic nature of my plans. If you don't think it will work, you will tell me. (You will, won't you?)

Monday, September 15, 2008

New Addition

I've added a new blog to my Sites to See list. I was blog hopping through some of my regular readers' read list and found Hidden Haven Homestead. While I don't have a lot of time for pleasure reading these days (Mom - I need... Mom - I want.... Mom - Can you get...) I did enjoy reading about the very special weather forecaster over at the Homestead. I just had to add this to my list so I can remember to keep checking on her site and reading about all she does.

I wanted to share it with my other regular readers, too. You may find you enjoy reading about life on a homoestead.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Unforseen Casualties

Sometimes, a parent just has to do what they have to do. Sometimes, you can never foresee the casualties of war (ahem - parenting) that might come along with the difficulties of said war.

For me, my first real casualty has been Kira's hair. While we were in the hospital, her hair became tangled and matted from the way she was laying and the fact that I simply overlooked the concept of combing her hair while I was so busy trying to keep her from being in too much pain. I just didn't think about getting a comb. I figured it would be okay to wait until we got home. After all, there have been several occasions when I didn't actually brush or comb her hair for 3 or 4 days at a time simply because - well - I just didn't think about it.

Of course, what I failed to take into consideration in my particular state of mind was the fallout. Yes, the actual fallout of her hair. Apparently the medication causes a person's hair to shed a bit. This shedding, combined with laying down flat on her back for several days and being sweaty and such translated into a matted mess the size of Texas. Okay - the mess was really only about the size of a good book, but get the point.

Grandma Janet and I spent a few hours a day for three days trying to work out the tangled mass of hair. We did not succeed.

I took Kira to the beauty shop in hopes of saving the hair. I've invested a great deal of time and energy in that beautiful long blond hair and did not want to lose it to this particular war. It would have been better if I could lose it to something like - say - a willful mind that decided she no longer WANTED long hair. THAT would have been okay. But to find myself in a position that left me with no was so sad. The ladies at the shop were more than willing to attempt to save her hair with the help of a special oil product for just this very purpose. Kira, however, vetoed this plan within minutes because it was less than comfortable. So, alas, Kira received her very first professional hair cut. The long hair is now gone - at least for a while - and replaced by this new do...

Play Doh

Today is all about Play Doh. From a very early age, children learn that Play Doh can be a great deal of fun. Parents learn that Play Doh can be messy, but also provides a stretch of time where their child is absolutely happy.

The savvy parent knows that a supply of Play Doh is an absolute must when small children live in the house. Play Doh can be used just about anywhere to distract and entertain a fussy child. Younger children enjoy smashing and rolling the Doh into funny shapes and mixing up the colors to see what happens. Older children can learn how to create sculptures and dry them overnight to keep them forever (or until they get tired of looking at them and decide to throw them away...).

I have actually discovered that the Magic Dough that is sold at our local Dollar Tree store has a better consistency than the actual Play Doh that is sold at Wal-Mart and is much more expensive. The Magic Dough tends to hold together a bit better when they are making something.

Of course, the Magic Dough does dry out quicker. Since Kira and Marisa love to mix up their dough, it isn't an issue around here so buying cheaper works better for me. We rarely keep the stuff for more than two or three rounds of play because it gets mixed up into one big mass of a single color.

If you have older children who want to use the best and know how to keep their colors organized then spring for the real stuff. Otherwise, buy the cheap stuff or make your own. There are tons of recipes available on the Internet for making your own play dough.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Just a Short Update

Kira is doing well. She has been mostly pain free for two days.

We did have to take her to get her hair cut today because it was so badly tangled from our stay in the hospital. She now has a very short pixie cut. Think Tink - Tinkerbell, that is - and you'll have a really good idea of what her hair looks like now. Yes, I cried and cried. I have invested a great deal of time and energy into her long and healthy hair. It was gone in less than ten minutes.

Grandma Janet took us to dinner tonight and Kira really enjoyed being out of the house.

We also went to Wal-Mart and, much to my amazement, Kira spent an hour wheeling herself around the store. She quickly learned how to maneuver herself to turn in a specific direction and back up when necessary. She refused to let me push her even when she was getting tired.

She is apparantly much stronger than I am because she's adjusting to this new life much easier than I have.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Kira's Big Day

Here is Kira with her doctor before the surgery.

Here's Kira taking her silly juice. She did not like the taste of that stuff.

Here's silly Kira - the walrus. We had to take about 30 pictures of walrus Kira because she kept insisting on more pictures.

Here's Kira post-op. If you've never been there - this is VERY hard to see when it is your little one. Honestly, though, I was so happy to see her that I barely noticed her appearance.

Kira and her new attachment...still during the recovery time. They were just about to move her from the recovery bed into the hospital room bed. She screamed and screamed when they moved her. Very heartbreaking.

I can't really add more to the pictures with narration so I'm going to leave you with these images. I also want to say that Kira is doing remarkably well. She loves to play and paint. Her only frustration is her inability to get up and move on her own.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fire Safety

Did you know that young children rarely know what to do in the event of a fire? Children often hide in closets or under their beds to get away from a house fire. This, of course, can turn into a terrible tragedy if an adult is unable to get to the child.

It is important to discuss fire safety early and often in order to make sure your child is well prepared if there is ever a fire in your home or in any home where they may be sleeping over.
I recently learned that Allstate has a fire safety video available. My trip to the fire department produced this video, and I have to say I'm impressed with how good the video is. Kira loves singing the "Fire Safety" song and talking about what she would do if there was a fire. This video has opened up a new avenue of conversations that will help her if the need arises.

I highly recommend that you get a copy of this video. It is geared to children of all ages. Even I love watching the show and listening to the music. There are many top name celebrities that took place in the making of the video. The smoke detector even looks like the person who is voicing those lines.

Contact your local Allstate agency to see if they can send you this video. It is well worth your time.

Now, I have to give you a few tips to go along with my praise of the video.

1) Teach your children not to hide. Tell them to go outside as quickly as possible. Be sure to point out the escape routes available to them.

2) Teach them to crawl on the floor to avoid smoke inhalation. Explain that smoke rises up and the floor is the best place to be if they are unable to see through the smoke. It is also a good idea to practice crawling through your escape routes so your children can learn to recognize key landmarks from the lower views.

3) Teach them to never play with matches or lighters. I also recommend testing them. Leave a lighter out when you are nearby and see how they react. You can't be sure how your child will react in a situation unless you test them.

4) Let them hear what the smoke detectors sound like so they will know. If they don't know the sound of the machine then they won't know what to do when they hear it.

5) Mark your child's window so fire fighters will know what room they sleep in. I got stickers from the fire department to put on the windows. The firemen did tell me that it was very important to move the sticker if the child changes rooms. That way they won't waste time going into an empty room to save a child that isn't there. You can also get a "save my pets" sticker to let the firemen know there are animals in the house. Yes, they will try there best to save animals, too.

6) Determine a meeting place and practice an escape to make sure everybody knows where to meet. Discuss ahead of time who will be responsible for getting small children. It can be quite chaotic if you have not made a decision about which parent will go after which child.

(This is where I tell you that there is NO WAY I am leaving my house without trying to get to my babies. I don't care that the firemen may be able to locate them. I am not going to leave my house and wait for somebody else to get here and go in after my babies. My older children can get out. My little ones, can not get out of the house on their own. Randall and I have clearly discussed how to handle the situation so one of us goes out to be under their bedroom window and one goes to their bedroom to get them. )

7) If you have 2nd story floors or higher, I highly recommend that you purchase and install escape ladders in those upstairs bedrooms. They are pricey, but could possibly save the life of your child by providing a safe exit through an upstairs window.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


We're home and well. Kira is doing well with her new adjustments. She is mostly pain free now.

I'll give you all the information with pictures tomorrow. Right now, we are all very tired.

Thank you for all your prayers.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Just So You Know...

Those of you who entered my give away a while back....

Your prizes are now officially in the mail. I actually managed to get them to the post office today.

Yes, I know I emailed each of you and told you that I would mail them on Tuesday. However, I am the world's worst procrastinator. I always seem to have such a hard time getting anything done.

Today, I managed to get to the post office five minutes before they closed. Yep - I showed up at the door with an arm load of packages just FIVE short minutes before they were able to lock me out. He he... Poor postal workers had to deal with me and my mess.

Did you know that sending a package out of the country requires a customs form? Guess who did not realize this? Luckily, the form only takes a minute or so to complete.

I hope you all enjoy your treats.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I Love You!

Today's post is dedicated solely to honoring my husband.

I just want to tell you that I love you.

To my readers, I would like to say that loving the father (or mother) of your children is one of the most important things you can do to ensure they grow up in a healthy environment. Make sure your children know that you love that other parent with all your heart. Your children should see affection and hear terms of endearment. This teaches them how to maintain a relationship.

Now, if you happen to be divorced - as I am from Gibson's father - then loving the other parent may not be a valid option. In instances such as this, being nice to the other parent and avoiding parenting competitions is the best thing you can do to help your children deal with a difficult situation. You should never talk negatively about that other parent in front of your child. It only breeds resentment. This is where being the bigger person comes in to play. If that other parent fails to understand the damage that can be caused by such negative comments, you should avoid responding to these situations. Instead, have a standard phrase at the ready for those times when your children tell you what is being said by the other party. "Is that so?" can be a valuable addition to your verbal skills. It leaves the conversation open for the child to vent without pointing fingers. It is never easy to control your own emotions, but the rewards are far greater than the immediate gratification of "telling it how it really is."

I hope you have a wonderful day today. Go tell your partner just how much you love them. Be sure to let your kids overhear your conversation.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor - What Mom's Do

I was over visiting THAT family and noticed that Kristen has an interesting post up today. I feel a little crazy today, so without being pressured from a certain Pet that I know I decided to play along and give you a bit of personal information all about me. So, in honor of Labor Day I'm stealing the post from Kristen and making it my own. Of course, she took it from somebody maybe she won't mind.

How long were you in labor?

#1 - 40 + hours. Yes, you read that right. It was not a joke. I went into labor with Gibson on Friday evening and he was born on Sunday evening nearly 48 hours AFTER labor began. It was NOT fun. I could not hold him when he was born because I was so weak. The labor was all in my back. I ran a fever during the last 12 hours. Gibson stalled in the birth canal and required assistance via the vacuum machine.

#2 - Scheduled C-Section. Can you guess why? However, I was beginning to have contractions when I went in for the C-Section.

#3 - Scheduled C-Section. The C-Sections were so much easier for me than natural birth.

How did you know you were in labor?

The pain in my back was very regular and increasingly uncomfortable. I called my doctor around 9:00 PM and he said to wait and come see him in the morning. I did - and in the morning I was dilated to a whole ONE centimeter after a very uncomfortable night. Then I called my doctor every hour for the rest of the day and into the night because the pain was getting worse.

Well, about 3:00 AM I woke up groaning. My then husband told me to call the doctor and tell him we were going to the hospital regardless of what the doctor had to say about it.

So - while I called the doctor - he went and took a shower. Yes, my dear friends, he left me to call my doctor all on my own when I could barely breath much less talk. Can you begin to guess why he is my "then" husband and not my "now" husband?

The doctor did confirm that it was time for me to go to the hospital. So off we went. I checked into the hospital at 5:00 AM. Gibson was born at 5:39 PM. He was stubborn about the whole thing. Come to think of it - he's STILL just as stubborn as the day he was born.

Where did you deliver?

Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, GA. All three of my babies were born there.




Yes. The two girls were delivered via C-Section. My blood pressure was high during my pregnancy with Kira. My doctor was concerned about me going through labor again, especially considering that Kira was a bit bigger than Gibson. I was stunned when he suggested a scheduled C-Section. It was the last thing I had expected to hear him say. However, after a few hours of consideration and a ton of reading, I decided that it was a much preferable method than the previous delivery. I was right, by the way. I was actually able to hold Kira within an hour of her birth. I was also back on my feet much quicker.

Marisa was a repeat C-Section. I told them at the first visit that I wanted to go that route. The doctor, of course, agreed.

Who delivered?

#1 - Gibson was ultimately delivered by Dr. Kelley, who just happened to be the on call doctor that evening. However, if he hadn't been so stubborn about it all he would've been delivered by Dr. Sutherland who was my preferred doctor.

#2 - Kira was delivered by Dr. Sutherland.

#3 - Marisa was also delivered by Dr. Sutherland. However, they threatened to take her 3 days earlier than scheduled because of my blood pressure. Had they done that, she would've been delivered by a different doctor that I didn't really care much for. Luckily, the hospital agreed to let me go home as long as I promised to stay in bed for the next 3 days. Randall was relentless about that, so I did actually get stuck in the bed for 3 whole days.

NOTE: For those of you wondering about that 4th child listed on my profile, I didn't give birth to her. She showed up on my doorstep about 3 years ago. She's technically my niece, but definitely my own child in all the ways that any adopted child could be.