Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fall Fun

Somehow I found the fun, crafty Christy and we're all glad to have her back. Last week I helped my friend Stacy pull off a Harvest party for ten Kindergarteners and another fun mom sent in these adorable bug/spider goodies. So I stole the idea and made them with my kids a few nights ago. Lots of fun and yummy, if you like Nilla wafers, icing and pretzels together.





And then last night we carved the pumpkins from Zach's punkin patch trip. Abby did 90% of it herself. I tried to take a step back, unpucker my butt and let her be autonomous with a steak knife, but when it came to cutting the teeth in the punkin's mouth I just couldn't take anymore. She protested and swore she was capable of handling it, but I told her that I COULDN'T. And, of course, Zach didn't do any cutting, but he did jump in there and scoop the guts out. I was sure he'd say no way since he's so goofy about "sticky" things anyway, but he got past it and scooped her clean.




Tomorrow is Trick or Treat! The plan is for the Baker grandparents to dress up in full gear and make-up, show up just prior to ToT, ring the doorbell and try to trick the kids. I can't wait to see this! And my mom is coming up as well. She's trying desperately to crawl out from under this nasty virus that's sweeping across Ohio with a vengeance and hopes to be full recouped for tomorrow. I will get plenty of photos I'm sure.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Learning to be quiet

So, yesterday was quite a day for me. I found myself thinking "why don't I just BE QUIET and think before I talk?" numerous times throughout the day. Ever have those days? My mouth was just running away with me and I am sure I hurt the feelings of people I love. I think my mom may have been right years ago! I must like the sound of my own voice.

In the morning I was crazy, rushing around and trying to get out the door so we wouldn't be late picking up carpool and getting everyone to school. I was doing ten different things at one time - make-up, dressing the baby, feeding the older ones, drinking coffee, e-mailing and trying to pack a lunch for Abby. I had it all ready to put in the bag and couldn't find the bag. So I start yelling "where's your lunch bag?!" over and over. I grilled Zachary, quite sure that he'd run off with it so he could tote around his treasures of the day, but he swore he hadn't touched it. I had us all nuts looking for it and I finally grouched to Abby, "Well, you're buying today. I hope you like stuffed breadsticks because that's what you're having!" *sigh* I know, I know. Not nice. Later I found the danged thing in the dryer. Right where I put it because I had to wash it out and tumble dry it (trying to avoid mold.)

Man, if I just would have remained calm and found another way to pack her lunch, I could have avoided hurting her feelings and sending her off to school having been yelled at for something she did not even do.

And then last night Scott told me something that caught me off guard. Nothing bad, it was just something he was thinking of looking into and instead of letting it sink in or allowing him to point out the positive qualities of the plan, I got defensive, bratty and crossed my arms. I got quiet and did not want to talk about it, knowing full well that if anything came out of my mouth it would not be loving. And I was right. He got me to talking and I shredded the plan without fully thinking it out.

Not only that, I called my husband a liar right to his face and when he tried to defend himself I was shutting him down all over. And then I took one small second to actually think about how exactly the conversation went and what I'D said - he was right and I was wrong, and I was the liar. *sigh*

All in all I can hear God telling me to just BE QUIET. Don't move. Don't talk. Don't decide things based on my own feelings and impulses, but BE QUIET and listen to not only the people around me, but God. I need to make it more of a constant practice to ask God about all things - engage Him more in my daily life. "How should I react to this, Lord? Should I go ahead with this play date today? How can I be a stronger mother? can you guide me on spending our money wisely, Lord?"

I'm sure it would strengthen my relationship with Him and bless my family.

I did fully apologize to Abby for blowing her hair back unnecessarily and I have some work to do with my hubby. He's a forgiving man, but he's getting hit from all sides these days and a guy can only take so much henpecking before he just shuts down. So...here's to learning to be more quiet in life!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Just sittin' around

So Miss Lilly and I are just hanging out since her goofball, won't poop on the toilet brother needed a nap. She was totally sitting down on the potty and saying "sit, sit" - at least I HOPE that's what she was saying.

As soon as I grabbed the camera though she turned all tipsy and "duh, what does sit mean?" LOL

Enjoy anyway b/c she's too cute, even with a bottle in her mouth.
video

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I've Crossed Over

*deep breath* Ahhhh! I feel MUCH better today than the past two days. Friday I felt okay, just a little queasy. Until I went to bed that night and my stomach was moving like a dryer tumbling a full load of clothes. It was all I could do to keep from retching. Of course I may have felt better had I thrown it up, but you know how it goes, avoid vomiting at all cost.

And like Scott said yesterday in his guest post (thanks, yo!) keeping horizontal was the name of the game. If I even sat up on the couch I felt the world spin and I had to fight the urge to vomit. I got to lay down in bed and sleep for three hours straight, which felt like heaven. My bed usually does feel heavenly on a regular night. The pillows all cuddley, the pillow top mattress, the thousand thread count sheets and the huge heavy comforter all make me feel like a pampered princess. But yesterday it was a sick bed and very soft place to land. Even though I could hear the kids screaming downstairs my body would not move to help. I felt the urge a few times, like oh, I should go help, but like I said my body just laid there in a cold sweat. Bleh!

Only this morning has the nausea really subsided. I still have some stomach cramps, but for the most part I'm back up and running!

Oh, and Friday night my phone took the big dive. I sent Scott out to get me a new one. My only request was that it has a keyboard on it and maybe, possibly, if it didn't cost extra...a pink phone. Because you can't be TOO girly. :)

Here's what he came back with. And while I'm SO excited to have this pretty, sweet kick butt phone...it's a Blackberry. So, from now til the day I switch phones, I do solemnly swear to never ignore my family or friends or become an obsessed Crackberry-head. But check it, what a SWEET phone, right? I guess with our credit/rebate it was the cheaper option from what I was looking for. Go figure! I've crossed over to Blackberry land!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sick as can be!


Well, Christy is sick as can be today. And by sick, I mean she doesn't want to be vertical, her sole mission in life today is to stay horizontal. Why am I referring to Christy is the 3rd person? Because this is her husband taking over letting everyone know Christy is down and out.

Being the nice husband and knowing that wifey was sick today I got Lilly out of bed this morning. I was greeted by forms of diarrhea that I did not know even existed. Lilly was covered up to her chest in crap. I am not sure how this is even possible considering that she was fully clothed and none of the poop was on the outside of her clothes. As far as I know she does not sleep or poop upside down. Not enough wipes in the world could have cleansed the putrid stench off of her, so I threw her in the bath. I forewarn everyone to steer clear of of Laundry Room right now though.

A few hours later Zachary decided it was his turn to drop a load in his pants. But this was no typical load, it was a loose load and it was equally nasty. The only pleasure I had in this catastrophe was that it dripped down his leg and he hated that. I think it is justice served for a 3 1/2 year old crapping in his pants.

Not sure what is coming out of Christy today, rest assured I ain't asking. But if I had to guess it is just as foul as the other 2 kids.

Abby is fine, thank goodness. I feel fine as well. I think the 5 pounds of pizza I ate last night is protecting me in a layer of grease that is flu resistant and impenetrable.

Been a glorious day thus far. Now I am on the hunt for food.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Oh, the 24 hour bug has bit


At least we HOPE it's a 24 hour bug. I don't know if any of our stomachs can handle much more.

Abby came home from school today complaining of a belly ache. She said her tummy hurt all day, but didn't need to go to the nurse. Promptly after that statement she had her head hung in the toilet. She has vomited thirteen times since four o'clock today. We finally got her to take some Advil and keep it down, so for now the cramping has stopped and she resting.

Bless her heart though. She's been writhing on the couch calling out, "Mo-mmy, Mama, please make it stop!" It's so heartbreaking to watch your baby crying in pain and know that there is little to nothing you can do. :(

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Sweetest Thing My Husband Ever Did

As my dear husband rushed out the door this morning to his never ending list of stuff to do for other people, I realized that we need some alone time again. A flood of memories came back to me, like the first time we met...friends introducing friends. He was a dorm room neighbor of the guy my roommate was head over heels for.

So the exchange was quick and I immediately thought he was cute. And God as my witness, I watched him walk out the dorm doors, down the walkway and when he turned back to look...I flipped him off. WHAT?! Even as I did it I wondered to myself, "Christy, what in the heck did you do that for?! Now he'll never talk to you again." It was totally in jest and he knew it too, but I thought for sure he'd never want to look at me again. LOL And I was partially right, he wasn't interested in me, he wanted my best friend. So began our journey.

Flash forward a few years and we're still in college, Junior year for me. I was living in an apartment with my best friend away from the campus, totally on my own. There was no cafeteria to run to and if I didn't pay rent then I didn't have a place to live. It was awesome! Except, can I just say this now? IF you are going to live with your best friend, split everything down the middle...your half, my half. We thought, in the beginning, that it would be okay to share groceries. It turned out that it wasn't a great idea after all, and most anyone would tell you that. You never go into business with friends b/c someone inevitably feels they are doing more of the work and that they are not getting the fair share of the bottom line. Long story short, I messed up and we ended up splitting our groceries.

I was mostly going into debt there b/c everything I needed had to go onto the credit card and my meager pay from the library wasn't going to cover everything I needed. So the day came when I was flat broke and had no groceries. My side of the cupboards were pretty sparse and I was waaay too proud to ask my roommate for anything. I called Scott in tears of frustration, mostly upset that I couldn't do things on my own. My mom and I were estranged at the time, so there was no option to call home for help. Over the phone, he comforted me and told me everything would work out okay.

An hour later he knocked on the apartment door. When I opened it up, there he stood with bags and bags of groceries on his arms. OH. MY. GOSH. What a sweetheart! He came in and laid the bags on the kitchenette counter and I just started bawling. I was so thankful and so humbled. He loved me. He had taken the time and money to go buy me a whole load of groceries so that I'd be taken care of. I know I fell deeper in love with him at that moment.

I am a very self-reliant person, I think. To a fault almost. I think I can do everything on my own and I've really had to wrestle with my pride over the fact that I am in a submissive place, being a homemaker. Scott is very aware of this fact and consistently assures me that I have nothing to worry about, that he respects me for staying home with our children and that he will take care of us. But even in my own position I feel like I have to take care of it all to the very best and I always fall short. I am constantly running up against this standard I've set in my head. I should be able to do all of "this" AND be beautifully manicured AND be thin AND have a square meal on the table at 5:15pm AND have well behaved children. I should be able to do it ALL on my own.

But the fact is...I can't. And more than that, no one expects that from me but me. It's a false standard that I've set in my mind of what others would expect from me. I also don't believe that God wants me to do it all on my own. I can't. I'll inevitably crash and burn under the weight and heat of list of things to do for other people. There is a scripture reference that just came to mind, the one where Jesus is praying to his Father in front of a crowd of people and is also telling them that "no one comes to the Father, but through me" and then he reaches out to their burdened hearts. All those people who were standing there, all with the same sin and burdens as the rest of us today. And he says "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

I, for one, am going to find rest in that. Do you ever feel like the list is never ending, the demands SO big some times, too much for too long? I know I do. Turn to Him who can give you the rest for your soul. He's not gonna take away the To-Do List, but he will take the heaviness of the yolk you carry and lay his peace on your shoulders so that you can effectively and with clear sight do the tasks at hand. Anything done in only your strength is nothing compared to something done in His strength.

And to Scott, thank you for the blessing you gave me so many years ago in that tiny kitchenette as my boyfriend. And thank you for the blessing of your help, love and protection every day as my husband.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Trip to the Punkin' Patch

Today was Zach's preschool field trip to Lynd's Fruit Farm (aka the punkin patch.)


Yesterday it was nearly 80 degrees outside, sunny as I'll get out and I even turned the AC on b/c it was so warm in the house. Today, not quite as nice. Word has it that the temp dropped fifteen degrees in a matter of an hour and a half in the wee hours this morning, so our trip was a little dampened by mildly wet fifty degree weather. I actually thought it was quite nice. It felt appropriate...kinda like we needed some warm cider to go along with it. BUT, the thirty three year olds and their parents/siblings (Lilly included) didn't catch the seasonal spirit. There were a LOT of red runny noses, purple lips and frosty fingers.

We started our field trip with a field guide named Charlie, who looked like a much more grey Grizzly Adams. He walked us through the gourd patch where we each got to pick out three gourds, and then through the corn field where we picked two ears of Indian corn. Did you know that if you find a completely red ear of corn, you get to kiss any guy or girl (the opposite sex of yourself, he noted) you want? I guess it's true? Our ears were all mottled, so no kissing going on at Lynds for us, at least in OUR group of preschoolers.

Then we all packed onto three wagons pulled by tractors for a bumpy ride out to the Punkin Patch. :)

Overall, it went pretty darned smooth except that we had to wait 20 minutes for our tractor/wagon, the little guy had to pee really bad but refused to go in a porta-potty and the fact that he has an extreme attraction to his teacher, Mrs. Stanley. She IS cute. But, he had a really hard time obeying Mommy b/c all he wanted was to be holding her hand, pulling on her coat or talking to her. He just lit up every time she talked with him or let him sit next to her. Guess he likes the older ladies. :)~ She seemed to really enjoy all the kids when they engaged with her and she's the one teacher who burst out into song while we were all impatiently waiting for our tractor. She must be the fun teacher and why the kids just adore her.

Now I've got a three year old toting around a small pumpkin, two gourds (scratch that. He broke one already) and a couple ears of Indian corn around the house like they are his brand new toys. He's quite happy with them!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Forget the fork. I have fingers.


Today I gave Lilly a fork and was teaching her to use it properly. She totally did it for the first ten times and then as soon as I grabbed the camera she was all "what's a fork?!" She'd skewer the Gerber ravioli (that feels more like an overcooked greasy eyeball) and then decide it was quicker to grab it with the other hand and shove it in her mouth.

It was a good start, Lil, but that smile will only get you so far in life.

Where are the microbeads???

Okay, so Monday I took one FORM pill and eh, I kinda felt full for awhile. It didn't stop me from eating anything though. I waited and waited, thinking that at any minute I'd have to run to the bathroom to expel gel (hee hee), but nothing. So the next day I took two (one whole capsule and the other one I scooped up as much as I could and put the capsule back together) and within five minutes or so I felt FULL. Full, like I had just eaten too much and didn't want anymore food for sure. I felt like that for oh, I'd said about thirty to forty minutes. I ate a small lunch and felt quite full for most of the day. I still snacked on stuff, a few KitKats here and there. But overall, I think it did it's job. The capsules coupled with serious self-control could really help a person lose weight. I can easily see that.

So...I "went" Monday morning and today is Wednesday and I have yet to see any of the gel pass through. Going several days without "going" is not out of character for me, it's just the way I am geared right now. Funny though, when I was working in an office...I was like clockwork! 9am meeting? Nope, that's the poopy time. Sorry. Now that I'm home and not on a strict schedule I could go days on end without going. So goofy! So anyway, yea, I'm still waiting to see what happens when these expanded gel microbeads come out.

And just to clarify for any worrying friends out there...I do NOT think I'm seriously in need of diet pills. I was just trying these out for a friend to see how they would effect me. Totally a guinea pig. And so far, there were NO side effects at all, except that I felt really full which isn't all that bad. I'd have to say that if anyone is really overweight and eating mass proportions of food throughout the day and desires to get their food portions under control, then this capsule (used as a training tool) would help them do that. Just like with anything else, it's a moderation thing.

Monday, October 13, 2008

What is God up to?

I am reading this book called Walking With God by John Elderedge and one story really caught my attention tonight. It made me think of the letter I wrote to my doctor and the fact that I still haven't sent it. Maybe this is why.

What Is God Up To?

I'm sitting in front of my computer this morning, my finger frozen over the left click button on the mouse.

My email program is asking, "Are you sure you want to delete this message?" And I'm not so sure. It's SUCH a good email. It's incontestable. Undeniable. It's long overdue. Someone has ticked me off and I've written what I feel to be is a very honest, straightforward, somewhat shaming and altogether irrefutable reply. I'm about to hit the Send button with the same satisfaction you see on the face of a player who gets to slam dunk a ball he stole on a fast break during the Final Four. This is going to be so good.

Then God says, don't do it.

Don't do it?! Awww. Something in me sinks. The ref just blew a whistle. There's a foul on the play. Dang. It was going to be so good. It was deserved. Why can't I send this? I don't need for God to reply. I know why. The fact that I've found the whole process so utterly delicious tells me why. (You know that delicious. You have these moments too - those conversations you have in your head where you are brilliant and the other person is speechless.) I can sense the Spirit saying, It won't do any good. They aren't in a place to hear it. Let it go."

A long pause. A deep sigh. Things are shifting down inside. I am accepting more than guidance here. I am accepting change. Down in my soul where the juncture of my will and my heart meet. I am accepting transformation. I click Yes and let the whole thing go.

Jesus says that as our Good Shepherd, he is leading us. What an encouraging thought. Jesus is leading you, and he is leading me. He is shepherding us. I can feel something in my heart loosening even now as I consider this. Okay. I don't have to make life happen on my own. Now, if Christ takes it upon himself to lead, then our part is to follow. And you'll find that it helps a great deal in your following if you know what God is up to. True, we may not know exactly what God is up to in this or that event in our lives. "Why didn't I get that job?" "How come she won't return my calls?" "Why haven't my prayers healed this cancer?" I don't know. Sometimes we can get clarity, and sometimes we can't.

But whatever else is going on, we can know this: God is always up to our transformation.

God wants us to be happy. Really. "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10)

But he knows that in order for us to be truly happy, we have to be whole. Another word for that is holy. We have to be restored.

Think of it this way -- think of how you feel when you really screwed things up. The look on your son's face as you yell at him. The distance that has grown between you even though you apologized. For the hundredth time. How it tears you up inside to indulge in romantic fantasies about someone else's spouse. You want to, but you don't want that, but you wish you could, but you really don't, and why is this going on inside? The guilt you feel when you lie straight-faced to a friend. And they find out. The hours you've wasted harboring resentment. The embarrassment of your addictions. You know what plagues you.

Now, what would it be like to never, ever do it again? Not even to struggle with it. What would your life be like if you were free of all that haunts you?

Oh, the joy, the utter relief it would be to be transformed. That in itself would be more happiness than most of us ever experience. And - as if that were not enough - it would free us to live the life God has for us to live.

My friends, this is what God's up to. This is where our Shepherd is headed. Whatever else is going on in our lives, this is going on. He is committed to our transformation. So, if this is what God's up to, wouldn't it make sense what we be more intentional in partnering with him in our transformation? Part of me wishes I could have sent the email. But the deeper, truer part of me is relieved that God stopped me. It would have hurt that person. I would have regretted it later. It would have created a crisis that would have taken hours of emotional energy to undo. I can't begin to number the disasters God has averted like that - the things he's stopped me from saying, the choices I would have made has he not intervened.

I want to walk with God.

Parenting Stuff

Since going to this "Mom to Mom" class I've been trying very hard to accept my authority as a parent and use it. We've adopted the "obey the first time you are asked" rule in the house, explained it to both kids and are following through. So say I tell Zachary to stop banging the toy against the wall. He gets that one warning and then no more. If he does it again I walk over and get him on the leg with the paddle. We've had a little learning time, but for the most part he's getting it. Should he NOT get it and defiantly tell us "NO", which he's done several times this week already...I tell him to go to his room and wait for me there, I'll be up in a minute. Now when the mom told me this in class I thought, "there's NO way this dude is going to voluntarily go upstairs and actually wait. It's always a fight." But lo and behold, the first time I asked him to...he did it! Someone, somewhere was praying for me. So I then go upstairs with the paddle and calmly ask him to stand up and tell me what he did wrong. Now before, this dude would always say something like "um, maybe?" or give me some kind of nonsense talk. So again I argued in my mind that this would never work. And lo and behold, the first time and every time since he's clearly told me what he did to disobey. Whoa! So then I calmly explain that he was disobeying and that bc he disobeyed he has to be punished. The mom said that this experience is meant to be humbling for them, not terribly scary, so never wrangle them to the floor or bend them against their will. They are to bend over the bed submissively and take the punishment without a fight. Again, no way this side of heaven Zachary B is ever going to willingly bend over the bed for a spanking. And don't you know...this dude has done it every single time. Not always willingly, but I never spank him until he's submitted, bent over and ready. He gets three firm swats on his toosh and then he always turns to me with tears and we hug and love and I tell him that he's still my boy he just has to obey Mommy and Daddy like Jesus says he has to.

Now this goes against everything in my bones. I don't think any loving mom enjoys causing tears from her babies, but I've come to believe that God really asks us to teach obedience and respect to our children. If they don't obey and respect us parents, then what hope do we have that they'll obey and respect any other authority figure, especially God.

I first went through the method of grace based, non-punitive discipline, but frankly Zachary and Abby both just took advantage and could care less if I put them in time out, time in, bedroom time, five step method, etc. My children have responded to blessings, training and discipline with love, and that's just in two weeks. Then I struggled with "is this how God would treat me as an unruly child?" Do as He does, right? My answer is yes, but I'm not prepared to go into a detailed explanation in this post as to why. Just know that I've come to grips with it and it's working for us.

Don't you know, since taking back my authority as a parent and choosing that my house will be a parent-led home and not a child-led home...life has been a little more in order. I'm feeling okay about spending more time with my kids too b/c they are not constantly causing friction. I'm not saying that I have it all wrapped up in a nice package, I'm just starting the learning here. Gosh, the mom of ten who is leading this class said that only in the past few years has she felt like she had a handle on parenting. But so far, it's working and I praise God in heaven b/c just a month ago I didn't think I wanted to do this anymore since I felt like a huge failure at it. Not that quitting is ever an option. *wink*

Oh, and this is working with Lilly too, even at one year old. We couldn't ever leave the dog food and water dishes down, but I changed that when the class leader said your children should be able to live in your home with all of your things out on the tables. She said that this is part of the "training" stages btwn the ages of 1 and 3, when they don't really know the difference btwn good and evil but are able to respond to love and pain. So Friday or Saturday I put the dog dishes down and of course she went right to them. I stood there and when she touched it I said firmly but in a calm tone "No, Lilly." Then she stood up, cried and tried again. This time I flicked her hand and said sternly "No" and redirected her. A minute later she was right back there, just barely touching it with a matchbox car. So I flicked her hand and said no again. Long story short, it took several moments of training, but she got it. The dog dishes have been down all weekend and she's not dumped them or touched them since. *big grin* Yea!! Of course, Zachary at this age...I'd have spent the whole weekend flicking and finally giving up. That boy was relentless and exhausting, such a strong spirit.

So, that's the scoop on the parenting front. I'm encouraged and excited to see how we're doing in a few months. I wish all my mommy friends could come with me to this gal's class. It's been a life preserver in a turbulent sea for me.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Skinny Guinea Pig?

No, folks, we did not get a new pet. I AM the guinea pig here. I've agreed to be the guinea pig anyway.

I have this friend I met through the Gentle Christian Mother's website, though we've never actually met in person, only talked via email. A penpal, if you will. :) This friend is a self-motivated, educated stay at home mom of four and is wanting to try out this new business venture (as if one existing business and being a mom of four isn't enough, right?) that is based in the weight loss industry.

Without detailing ALL the information here on my blog, I'll post a few informational links at the bottom of the post. My friend contacted me this last week and asked if I'd be interested in being a tester for her and try these hot new diet pills called FORM. They are one part of a three part system by 03World, the other two parts are a nutrient shake and fiber bulking agent that helps keep your system in order.

She sent me a few pills in the mail yesterday and I'm gonna try one today. She sent five capsules, but only two survived the mailing. I think I can scoop the microbeads back into one or two of the empty capsules, but we'll see what these two pills do to me first.

Everything I've read about these pills seems to be positive. The microbeads are a hydrogel and completely bioinert (are not absorbed in any way and do not change your body chemistry.) The idea is that these tiny microbeads act with water, swell and cause your stomach to fill, sending a message to your brain that you are full and to stop eating. Basically the opposite of a gastric bypass, you feel full and eat less without surgery.

I'm a SERIOUS grazer. I eat ALL day long here at the house. I usually eat a frozen waffle or a few pieces of toast for breakfast, half a pot of coffee, snacks with the kids, lunch could be anything from nuggets to grilled cheese. My usual sugar crash and binge occurs around 2-3pm when I begin foraging for ANYTHING that might have high fructose corn syrup in it. That sugary bliss goes down with another cup of coffee and gosh, I hope that it's enough to get me through the rest of the evening! Abby comes home around 4pm, we set out a small snack to get the kids through til dinner (a habit that really needs to stop now) and dinner around 5:30. By the end of the day I've eaten way more than I've needed to and a bunch of fat/sugar, and guilt inevitably follows. I'd wager money that if I cut out the snacks and sugar foods, I'd drop the extra fifteen pounds I carry around daily.

So, my plan is to take my usual medication this morning, already having my coffee, wait half an hour and then take one pill with 8 ounces of water. Then I'll wait to see if my head pops off or swollen microbeads come shooting out of my nose. "They" say that it takes two and half hours for the slippery, jelly microbeads to make their way through one's system. At which point, I'm envisioning me on the toilet, my butt being taken hostage by thousands of tiny beads.

Actually, I'm not worried at all. It's an interesting idea and I'll let you all know how it goes. In the meantime, you can check out more info on this pill at these site.


My New Diet Pill




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8DJYgyrGaA&feature=related

And Sara, she is really so adorable and comical
Youtube video

Stay tuned! I'll let you all know how it goes!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Dragonflies and Lilypads



Honestly, I am very impressed! Abby made this in art class this last week. I didn't get to see the other kids projects to compare, but it doesn't matter. I LOVE IT! This picture doesn't do it justice either.

I asked her how she made it, whether the teacher did any of it. She said that she started with a blank sheet of green paper, chalked the lily pads and water and then stamped the dragonflies on top. She says that the teacher gave her directions on how to do it and this is what she came up with.

I do hope she loves Art. It was my favorite subject in school!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Going Against the Rules

I went to Walgreens after dropping off the kids at school. I went specifically for the items with coupons and one of those was shredded cheese. It was a GOOD deal too - $1.50 a bag. That's like a dollar off of the usual price at Krogers. So I grabbed all that they had, six I think.

Just then two black ladies walked up behind me and the one said loudly "Awe man, she took them ALL!" I just glanced at her, back to the groceries and waited. The other one said "Yea she did. And they won't let you ring out more than two at a time. That's the limit."

So I get all nervous and I'm like (in my nicest, nervous tone) "if you need it, I'll give you one. What kind do you need?"

She says "I need mild cheddar." So I give her one and she stalks off.

The other black lady stands there and reminds me that they'll only let me ring two out at a time, so I looked back at her and said "That's cool. I'll just do separate transactions" and started walking.

She goes "Mmmhmm" (in her black lady tone) and walks the other way.

Then I'm rounding the aisles near the register and shoowee you should have heard them. They were going back and forth with each other and the register girl telling her ALLLL about my transgression of taking ALLLL the cheese, even though it only says a limit of two.

LOL...I just took my cheese to the counter and did two transactions. Sorry girls! I did give her one, but finders keepers, losers weepers.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Letter to my Doctor

Well gang, you know me, I'm not too great at hiding my feelings. You can usually tell exactly how I'm feeling at any given time by looking at me or simply asking me. SO I had to go in for my semi-annual thyroid bloodwork with my doctor who I've never really "liked" but tolerate b/c I don't ask much of her or see her much at all. I figure I can handle most anything in short doses, but today she sealed the coffin on our relationship. Here is the letter I've sent to her, letting her know that she's been pink slipped. You'll note: no cuss words. :)

Dear Dr. Suess (changed for privacy reasons),

I have been your patient for three years now after coming to you in 2005 for my thyroid condition. I had an idea from the very first visit that your bedside manner was not going to mesh with what I expected from my own doctor/patient relationship, but I was willing to give the benefit of the doubt and a solid chance. However, in every single visit that I have had, you have barely answered my questions and continually left the room abruptly without letting me know that you were finished with the exam or asking if I had any other questions or concerns. Every time we've met I have had to ask the nurses if you were coming back and the questions that lingered, only to be told "I don't know." And even once, I had to have the nurse go after you into the next patient's room to ask my question for me. She told me then that I was not the only one to have complained about this behavior. In my opinion, it is rude and not acceptable.

In fact, today's visit was the proverbial straw for me. I asked you to examine my ears explaining to you that they have been severely itchy for months on end. You took a look in my ear and noted out loud "yea, you've been scratching a lot!" I went on explaining that yes, they itch something awful and the sensation comes and goes, but now the one ear is painful. Then you turned without a word, left the room and never came back. I assumed that you might be going to get something, but when you didn't return and the lab tech came in to take my blood I had to ask her and the nurse if you were coming back. You had already moved on to the next patient. You did not explain what you saw in my ears, you didn't even give me any idea of what you thought the problem might be, nor did you give me an opportunity to discuss anything else that was on my mind. You just walked out and never said "good-bye" or "thanks for coming in" or "good luck". Nothing. Instead you went to another patient's room and began their exam! Can you imagine how that makes a patient feel? I'll tell you, Dr. Suess, it makes me feel as if I am not worth your time. It also makes me wonder if you are overbooked and feel the need to rush off to the next patient even though I have never spent more than ten minutes with you during any given visit that I have had.

Unfortunately, your rude manner is not the only item I've overlooked in the past years. Your office is seriously shabby and in need of repairs/updates. Every time I come to the office I have to have a mental conversation with myself about overlooking the cosmetics and focus on the care I'm receiving. However, I feel it needs to be said. The outside of your building looks more like an unkempt house than a medical office building. I think at the very least you could have someone sweep the spider webs from around the door regularly, clean up the landscaping and put in a proper walkway. I assume you have a handicap accessible door, but your front entrance where the handicap parking space is located certainly is not. The waiting room, despite your construction efforts, is freezing in temperature, in need of cleaning, organizing and is completely uninviting. Honestly, the waiting room is the patient's first view of what kind of care to expect and is your opportunity to make us feel welcome and safe, possibly less anxious. The tired chairs, stacks and stacks of old magazines, the dirty area rug, lack of color and warmth does exactly the opposite. Also, your bathroom floor tiles are clearly dirty in the corners and in need of repair.

Dr. Suess, it really bothers me to have to send this letter to you, being so direct about my observations now, but you've not given me the full respect I deserve as a patient. I often leave your office wondering why I pay to be treated like I'm nobody. And while I think it is entirely possible that you either have no idea that you are doing what you do or that you feel it is the best way to deal with patients, I feel obligated to tell you that you are lacking in the relational part of your job and that since I have the choice to go elsewhere, I will.


Respectfully,
Christina Baker

Buyer's Block Cured

Just as I laid down and snuggled into my mass of sheet and blankets last night, of course after dealing with a sad little Zach who peed his pants in bed, it came to me just what I've been wanting but didn't want to spend extra money on. I think I mentioned before that I was starting this Mom to Mom class led by the mom at our church who has ten children? Yea, well she uses these charts at her house to encourage the behavior we desire and discourage the ones we don't in our children. They are called the Blessing Chart and If Then Chart and I want to incorporate them into my parenting arsenal. The Blessing Chart helps you to recognize the characteristics of God in your children and acknowledge the Scripture that supports them. The If Then Chart helps you to keep your child accountable for the negative behavior that is unwanted by God and us parents, and it also has the Scripture to support you. All good!

Then as I'm perusing for those I decided to look in on the Book section, b/c I'm a sucker for a good novel, and tripped on Walking with God: Talk to Him, Hear from Him. Really. I'm hooked and will give it a good read. I'm always in for getting to know more about how others connect deeper with Christ, as that is ultimately my spiritual goal. Now that my eyes have been wiped clean from the funk that covered me these past few months, I feel like I can again pay attention to my spirit. I can feel it breathing again and it's thirsty and hungry for Him. So, I hope this book will feed my soul some of what it's craving.

And then of course, like any other mother, I can't go shopping without picking something up for my chittluns. Abby's paying a LOT more attention to music and she remembers the lyrics very easily if she can interpret them correctly. Ever heard of Flobots? She loves their music...her father's influence there. I like their stuff too though. It's very lyrical, political and has awesome beats. So today I found some worship CDs for kids from Cedarmont and picked up two from the series. I need to get the crud that's on her MP3 player OFF and get these on there. She listens to the Christian radio station all night long, but when she pops the earbuds in from her MP3 player it's Black Eyed Peas, Ashley Simpson and a few other secular Top 40 hits from a few years ago. It was whatever I had on my Itunes from awhile ago. We can also listen to these in the car and I'll be thankful to change up our music. We've been listening to the same stuff for soooo long.

So, the shopper's block has lifted and now I'm super excited to get these things in the mail! Thanks Dad and Nita for the gifts!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

What's Going On

Okay, this is the hardest $40 I've ever had to spend! My Dad and Nita bought me a gift certificate to Amazon.com for my birthday and you'd think "geesh, the world's your oyster, Christy!" Oh ho ho, not really, my friends!

I've been through EVERY handbag designer and nearly all the flats or pump shoes (er, I'm not at liberty to wear heels nor is it practical with my lifestyle right now) and come up empty handed. I know I'm not that hard to please. I could walk in almost any store and find something for less money that I'm in love with, but give me a whole website full of everything and I'm stumped! I'm shocked. So...I guess I'll just hold onto the certificate and when something comes up and I think "shoot, I wish I could just go buy that $40 item" then I can look it up on Amazon and Happy Birthday to Me.

This weekend Abby and I took the "no cussing oath" and became members of the "No Cussing Club." I was convicted on two accounts. One, my dear husband pointed out to me that in my all sincere post about how I had a great time with the Lord on my way to Lake Erie, I also slammed down like three curse words in the process. And two, I was reading a post on Dooce's website where she laid down out an anecdote about how her daughter screamed out some profanities in the mall during a hissy fit and she told her daughter she "knew she wasn't allowed to use those words outside of the house." It took me by surprise that that was her condition and thought to myself that it was definitely outside of what I want to be as a parent. Plus, as I was manhandling my bicycle down from the ceiling of the garage, I slipped with the bike and yelled "H*ly Sh**!" and not just a few minutes later Miss Abby dropped her bike and out came the same words. Sooooo...she and I took the following oath:

I won't cuss, swear, use bad language, or tell dirty jokes. Clean language is the sign of intelligence and always demands respect. I will use my language to uplift, encourage and motivate. I will Leave People Better Than I Found Them!

And now we're part of the cool no cussing group. I want to take this seriously and it's definitely hard to change a baaad habit, so I've had a few slips today. Abby's quick to correct me, but to her my bad word slip ups are "crap" and "frick" so at least I'm doing better today in not slipping up the big ones around her. Gotta be that good role model now that I'm all grown up and stuff. Here's to a curse word free week!

Oh, and here's something to make your butt (not a curse word, right??) pucker. Take a look at this poor dude and be SO glad we live in the US where medical care is available to everyone. *shiver* You can Google "Tree Man" and there is quite a bit of footage and pics about him. It's absolutely amazing that he lived with his hands, feet and face like they were, but also that he's getting the care he needs and getting better. Wow.








Friday, October 3, 2008

Something to Warm Your Tummy

This is one of our new favorite recipes (thanks to Allrecipes.com) and it's fairly easy to make. I guess the Rue part makes it a little cumbersome, but after you do it once or twice it's pretty easy and tastes REALLY good. My advice, don't use 2 Tbsp of Cajun Seasoning...it's really too much. The first time we made it we used some leftover Cajun seasoning from Red Lobster and it was super yummy. So if you can somehow get a hold of that stuff, do it.

Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (8 ounce) package angel hair pasta
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute shrimp for 1 minute on each side. Stir in garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon; set aside. Stir in flour and Cajun seasoning. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk, then cook until thickened. Remove from heat, and season with salt and lemon juice. Return shrimp to sauce, and spoon over cooked pasta.

Some Encouragement

So I went to church last night to have a "roundtable" discussions with other mothers and specifically one mother at our church who has TEN children. How amazing, right!? It ended up being more of a class, actually a four part class, led by said amazing mother. She gave out these binders full of Scriptures, poems, book excerpts, different charts, etc...a handbook for today's Christian Mom, I think. She spoke more this week on getting to the child's heart, wooing them to you and to God, blessing them (literally saying to them in front of the family just what characteristics of theirs are Godlike and a blessing to the family), tieing strings of love between you and the child (being with them, playing with them, having a relationship with them) and it was all kind of what I've been reading in the book Sheparding The Childs Heart.

I was flipping through the binder here and this poem made me all misty, so I thought it would encourage you other mothers.

Maker of the Home by Beverly Bradley

Little maker of the home, what do you really do?
When all is said and done, what will be said of you?
You rise each day and like the sun you give your life away,
and tired, you've run the course again, you need to hear Him say

Well done, Oh, maker of the home
Well done, you labor not alone
And though your eyes may never see,
this home you live to make, you make for me

Your life a shadow seems, compared to what the others do,
but who would catch the tears, and point to Me, if not for you?

And when they've grown, imprinted on their hearts will always be,
how good, how right, to give their lives, and build a home for Me.

Mrs. Travers, the mom of ten, said that we moms need to have an exit strategy. This isn't a life long sentence, but rather a blessed short term opportunity. We're not meant to stumble through this job, hoping we're doing it right, barely making it to the finish line or giving up along the way. Rather we're to have a God centered plan and an exit stratgey, an end goal. These babies are under our skirts for only a few years and we have a lot of work to do in that time, but what an amazing job! Last night I was convicted that I need to be delving into who my children are and what their hearts need, being with them (not shooing them away), teaching them about God (not hoping the church will do it), acting out Christ's love and forgiveness, being the role model of a Christian and protecting their hearts from outside influences.

I plan to go to the other sessions with this Mom so that my career as a mother will be blessed and more importantly to me now, that my big view of this responsibility will be changed forever. I've been struggling again with not being able to help financially, missing out on my career opportunities, especially now with this economical scare in the air. I'm watching as my friends put money in their savings, go on vacations, make serious headway in paying off their homes and the green-eyed monster peeks around the corner. Gah! And you know what? I am SOOO blessed with a husband who's view has changed 180 degrees. This man honors my place in the home and has told me over and over again how important I am to this family. He recently told me that he'd MUCH rather have me here with the kids during these formative years than to be paying off or have the house paid off. I know he's right...I can feel it too. I really do desire to find my mothering heart and embrace it with all of my being, to forget that old desire of being a career woman. It's something I need to lay at His feet again, and again, and again.

So...here's to another day, Moms and friends! Our job is SO important! Find the joy within this morning and work toward the goal of being a mom whose children call her blessed and whose Maker says "well done, Maker of the home."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Dude, whatcha eatin'?

So I'm standing here at the laptop, my feet aching from whatever kind of Hell lies beneath the surface of this 12x12 foot area. Seriously, both Scott's and my feet ache something awful when we stand here at the laptop...it's ridiculous. Anyway, I'm standing here surfing, totally neglecting my children and letting Zach get his last few minutes full of the television before the guy comes to disconnect us from the garbage that is cable TV and Lilly comes sauntering into the kitchen shoving something in her mouth.

"Lilly, what the hell is that, honey?" I ask sweetly and make a move toward her.

Noticing the offensive move on my part she makes a dash in the other direction pulling whatever it is in and out of her mouth. All I can see is that it's small and has a HUGE dust bunny connected to it.

I run after her chubby diaper butt and catch her just in time to see it getting crunched up and the dust bunny wavering on her wet lips.

"Oh, dusty candy corn, eh?" Oh, that's okay. I'm sure it was pulled from the nether regions of a chair or couch cushion, but what the heck. "Carry on then, my dear!"

At least it wasn't a dog turd...this time.