Friday, March 30, 2012

I'm a Hater

Woke up this morning thinking about the very heavy responsibility I have to take care of my family's health. S has not felt really good this week and his blood sugar has been really high. (which is why he hasn't felt good!) Then this morning I got to thinking about the girls too. Everyone has something that needs to be dealt with!

click to read their diagnoses!

These are just the things that came to mind this morning as I lay in bed. S and his diabetes (which I HATE), Little Bit's TS (although under control right now), and her scalp problems are back, and Sweetheart with her complete love of all things sugar and starch and her avoidance of any form of vegetable. (thankfully, her asthma is gone!) Sigh.

As a homemaker, I feel such a HUGE responsibility in all this. I KNOW 90% of these problems could be helped or cleared up completely by proper diet. But OH "proper diet" is SO hard!!

I really just want to go to the store and mindlessly buy Hamburger Helper and Cheetos like I used to in the early 90s, OK? Grocery shopping was easy then.

Menu planning, label reading, grocery shopping, (affording the healthy stuff), is all so much work and I feel very overwhelmed when I think about it all. And then there's me being pregnant and the new baby will be here soon and I need to make wise choices then because of...well, new baby and breastfeeding.

This isn't going away, is all I'm saying. So I suppose I need to really, really get with it.

The thing is, no one in our family has IMMEDIATE MEDICAL RESPONSES to bad choices. If someone were to say, have an allergic reaction or go into a seizure because of a food choice, then obviously we would be very careful and diligent. But that isn't it. In our case, a person can choose to eat a really bad-for-you meal and you really won't notice any difference in their life right away. BUT I KNOW it's having a bad affect on their long-term health. I know the future path if these problems are allowed to continue.

I won't get into any of my specific plans right now. They are still swirling around in my head. I need to do more research. I need to pray, too. All I do know is I need a plan of action and I need to start taking this responsibility very seriously.

Because I absolutely HATE all these health problems. But I LOVE my family.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

We're Back Baby!

Sunday was the first time we've been able to go to the beach. Mind you, we've been going to the island all winter to eat lunch after church (at least once a month) and grab some ice cream. And sometimes walk around. But this was an actual, real, bonafide beach trip.

There was sand digging.

And ball throwing.

And lots of boogie boarding.

And I had a new chair. all my glory! ha!
The End.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Today I will go grocery shopping. My LEAST favorite thing to do (right up there with balancing the checkbook).

BUT...I am not giving the state test today.

Today I will make my girls do school and chores and all the other things they would rather I forget about.

BUT...they are not taking the state test today.

Every spring I used to break out with a bacterial infection on my face. The doctor said it was stress. I called it the TAKS rash. (It's now called the STAAR test.) I am ever so thankful that our family has nothing to do with that test anymore.

I looked at the released questions online this morning and had a small panic attack. And then I was really, really glad that we are free to move at the girls' pace and that they don't have to be smashed into a mold they don't fit in. I am also thankful for our curriculum as I know we will end up ahead in the long run of their education.

And I was reminded that the state test doesn't measure how many Bible stories they have learned this year, or how many homemaking tasks they have had the opportunity to practice. It doesn't measure their love of good books or their ever-growing understanding of how history all fits together. It doesn't measure much of anything important, really.

Lord, I am so thankful for the opportunity to homeschool my children. Thank you for this perspective today!

Monday, March 26, 2012

My Monday Brain

*This new schedule of school-in-the-afternoons is really working for me. I go back to bed after S leaves. I feel guilty about that so I actually googled "how much sleep do you need in your 3rd trimester?" this morning. Yes, I was looking for justification.

*We have (miraculously) kept the house from looking like a complete Hoarders episode. I mean, it needs some work, but it hasn't been AWFUL. I say "we" because without the girls' help, I fear I would end up on A&E. (Is that the right channel?)

*If you arrive to your prenatal massage 5 minutes late AND the lady has to leave the room for a few minutes to get pillows for you in the middle of the massage.....the massage will still be over exactly at the next hour. Which means you did, indeed, NOT get a 60 minute massage. Sigh. She talked too much also. But I was still thankful for it!

*S bought me a new chair for the beach. It's a lounger with a footrest. It's actually patio furniture but it worked so nicely at the beach. It will work nicely when I am not pregnant too, but instead nursing a baby at the beach. It was SO NICE to be back at the beach!! And apparently several thousand people agreed with us yesterday. Crowded!

*Keeping up with a 12 year old is a full-time job. Wanting someone to be responsible and independent in many areas is hard work for the parents!

*We own too many books.

*I don't want to go grocery shopping anymore.

*The kitchen needs a lot of work. Why must the bottom cabinets be so...low? (While my belly is so...big?)

*I have so many things I want to get done. My brain is going 90 miles an hour all the time.

*My motivation does not match my brain.

Have a great Monday everyone!

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Goodness of God

He never ceases to amaze me. I get a little stressed out every season thinking about Sweetheart's clothes. She is just growing so quickly. She's the biggest and oldest girl in our family so there are no hand-me-downs waiting for her. This year when we pulled out the tubs of spring and summer clothes we had stored away, Sweetheart had about 4 things that fit her. Four.

Still, every year we recieve hand-me-downs. I mean it. Every single year. I really and truly thought that at some point they would dry up. I mean, she's 12! Now the Lord provides in other ways too. My husband works so hard and we had money to go buy her some clothes this spring. Here is an outfit we found at Goodwill for $6. Not everything was gotten so cheap, but I'm always glad for cheap!

I got some ribbon from Hobby Lobby to make a belt and she was good to go. The skirt is from Justice. That may not matter to you or me, but it matters to a 12 year old. She's shopped at Justice exactly once--on her birthday last year. And yet she's had a lot of Justice clothes in her closet--all found at Goodwill or consignment sales.

I get that. I really do. I remember when we were in junior high, and "designer jeans" were all the rage, sister and I had exactly ONE pair of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans to share. (They were given to us.) It was traumatic to have to wear other pants to school. Seriously. I only got teased once or twice that I can remember, but it was rough not feeling confident about what I was wearing.

Do "designer labels" matter? Well, they shouldn't I suppose...but if it makes my 12 year old feel happy about her clothes, then I'm fine with it. It's an age thing. When you're older you don't care where your clothes come from. And honestly, she doesn't turn her nose up at anything. I could outfit her completely from Wal-Mart and as long as she liked the clothes, she would wear them. Ah, homeschool.

I only bring up the "designer labels" to make a point. We have more of a Wal-Mart budget, but my daughter has designer clothes in her closet. Why? Only the goodness of God.

What, Brenda? Are you saying that God cares about labels? No. Just that He loves us so much, He not only supplies hand-me-downs for our daughter, but GOOD ones. And from the craziest sources.

Yesterday we recieved 2 small bags of clothes---5 shirts, 5 bottoms, and a jacket--from a mom of a 10 year old boy. Pretty much the last person I would consider a viable hand-me-down source, you know? Seems their neighbor had sent her son home with all sorts of "treasures" from their garage, including 2 bags of girls clothes. The mom looked at the clothes, thought about Sweetheart, and brought them to us. They are GOOD brand names. Brand names we would not otherwise own. They are clothes that will LAST. (And her size, exactly.)

Along with what we were able to buy for her last week...I'd say she's pretty set for this summer. Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!!

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."  Matthew 6:28-34

Thursday, March 22, 2012

It's Official

I am over the pregnancy hormones.

I need my rational, sane, level-headed self back. Soon!

This crazy woman who lives here right now is not good.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Downside

The downside to not having a homeschool room?


And I'm sorry to say our dining room table looks just like that this morning. Yep, we ate on trays in the living room last night for supper. The good news? We're all set for school this afternoon!

Little Bit has been very whiny about school, but she's doing well. Her pleas do not affect my emotions one way or the other. Sorry darlin'. School IS happening. Only 39 more days to go. We can do it.

But now if you'd like to hear me whine about the kitchen or the laundry...we can arrange that. And I can whine because there IS no end in sight for those things.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Things Are Changing Around Here

I didn't get much done on my to do list this weekend, but we did accomplish a lot. S and the kids both remarked about how our house is changing a lot lately.

New curtains in Little Bit's room. Well, re-decorated ones anyway.

A "new" rocker from Sister for our living room. 

Another new piece of furniture in the living room. It was WAY back in the attic because, of course, we weren't ever going to need it again, right? 

More "new" things for baby. Sweet little baby socks.

"New" accessories in the bedroom. 

Pink baby blankets in the blanket box. 
OK so maybe NONE of that is new. We have been very blessed by others giving us things.

The one thing I did get done this weekend from my big list 'o fun was planning the next 8 weeks of school. We will be shy of finishing our Sonlight curriculum by about 2 or 3 weeks, but we can wrap things up over the summer. I printed out calendars from Donna Young and filled in what I'd like to get done before baby comes. I really like marking things off. Makes me feel accomplished. And "accomplished" is not really a word I would use to describe school lately. My new plan is much more ambitious. We'll see how much we get done each day. We can only do what we can do, right?

Now, today I MUST finish the list 'o fun, which is all office type stuff. Updating the checkbook, paying bills, blah blah blah. Ug.

Double ug.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wanna Know Why I Didn't Post Yesterday?

Because I was very near comatose. I was so exhausted after 2 nights of waking up at 3am for the day that I fell asleep last night the minute we walked in the door from church. I literally walked to the bedroom, changed clothes, and crawled in bed. It was 8:30pm. So sad. I was so tired I actually felt kind of sick.

But, after 9 hours of sleep---I am a new woman!

Good thing too because this house is falling down around my ears. It's picked up. At least we've kept up with that end. But we have NO groceries, precious few clean clothes, and it's getting old. Today: must actually switch the laundry and get it all the way clean and dry and delivered and must procure food for my family. You know, the basics?

But I have another reason I am glad I slept. Sweetheart and I have a shopping date today. Girlfriend has outgrown just about everything but specifically she needs dresses to wear to church. I've been looking up size charts for various stores and she's all over the place. Best I can tell, it's going to be a toss up between sizes 14-18 in the girls' department and sizes 0-1 in the juniors department. There's really no way to know until we try stuff on.

My main concern is finding dresses that are an appropriate length. Can I get an Amen? Sigh. My other concern is not spending an arm and a leg. The plan is to start at Goodwill and work our way up (Wal-Mart,  Old Navy, Kohl's...). We'll see what we can find for cheap and then move on if we have to.

Oh yeah, and we have some school to do too. But I think food and clothing is more important today.


Still not adjusted to Daylight Savings Time

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Nest Progress

I've been checking things off my list right and left!

First of all, since S painted the bedroom and bathroom in January, I hadn't done much else to those rooms. Not a lot was needed for the bathroom.

Some new curtains... (just replaced the middle fabric and with a coupon that fabric was $7)

And some wall art...(which is totally covering bad places in the wall!) The plaques were about $3 each from Wal-Mart and the BEACH sign was free thanks to a scrap of wood from husband's wood shop and some paint.

Then, I just needed to sew some matching embellishment on Sweetheart's curtains. I found pink and green rick rack that fit the bill. "New" curtains for around $7! (Actually less as the leftover rick rack will show up on a different project soon!)

One expense that wasn't all that cheap was a new dresser for Little Bit's room. Her old dresser was part of the nursery furniture we bought for Sweetheart and doubles as a changing table. Little Bit needed more drawers anyway. We got this one at IKEA.

She can only reach the bottom 3 drawers right now, but she'll grow. :)
The old dresser got moved to our room. It will have a changing pad on top. The rug we got from IKEA for $20.

It's already loaded with sweet Little Girl clothes from a friend. Sure hope that doctor was right!

We have some blurry toys ready to go over by my closet. I know they won't be needed for a while, but they are ready!

And the co-sleeper is set up by my bed. I pushed it over for this picture, but we haven't attached it yet. I don't want to have to crawl around that thing until necessary!

The embroidery hoops in the bed are for the wall above the baby bed. That purple and green quilt was made by my grandmother when I was a teen. She wanted to make all of us a baby quilt before she died--and she did!
Here's a shot of the whole "nursery" a.k.a. "my side of the bed." I certainly won't have far to walk in the night!

I also got some pictures hung in Little Bit's room. We are doing her room in birds. This is a puzzle we framed. The puzzle was from the dollar store and the frame I already had--just painted it white.

And on the other side of the room--which will one day be baby's side--an owl picture from a calendar. Again--in a frame we already owned.

That's about it. I will get Little Bit's curtains hung back up today. Sweetheart has several projects for her room but I'm making her help with them so they may take longer. She's really proud of her grown up room so far.

Only 2 months to go--and I have a lot more projects to tackle!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Redeeming Alexander's Day

You know that one, right? The terrible, horrible, no good, very bad kind? Mine started off like that.

BUT...I was determined that the morning need not set the tone for the whole rest of the day.

I didn't sleep last night. No reason---just because I woke wide awake at 3:00 and couldn't go back to sleep. I finally got up and ate some cereal. I could have washed the dishes or balanced the checkbook or any number of things at that hour I was so awake. But I chose to go back to bed. I finally, finally drifted off to sleep a few minutes before husband's alarm went off. Sigh.

I weighed all the courses of action I could take. Get up and make his coffee and breakfast and lunch like usual? (He was getting up an hour earlier than he usually does ON TOP of losing that hour of sleep this weekend). Or lay here and try to get back to sleep? Hmm. He's getting up early. He can make the coffee and grab some toast. I think he has enough cash in his wallet for lunch.

I guess you know what I chose. But it was 7:00 before I went back to sleep. And then I woke up at 8:30. (which, really, is 7:30--you know?) Great start to the day. The girls got up before me and were playing on the Wii. The kitchen was a mess and I didn't know what we had for breakfast.

(On a side note, we cleaned house this weekend, but the kitchen didn't seem to make the cut.)

So I sent them to get dressed and I took a shower. Now it was 9:30. I'll make pancakes. Shoot. No baking powder. I have a tiny bit of "just add water" mix they can have and I'll find something else. Not enough. Oh look! Just enough Bisquick! Add milk. Add eggs. Huh? Oh man. Little bugs in the mix. I hate those little things. Wonder what else they are in?

So, I had to pay for breakfast while we ran our errands. Not what we needed to do. But I'm still determined to make this day good.

Errands are run. We have lunch and supper for today and breakfast and lunch for tomorrow. Picked up medicine for S. Back home. It's 11:15. There is still time for this day to turn around.

After lunch we will do school. We will START with Bible. There hasn't been enough Bible around here lately. Then we will clean the kitchen. And update that checkbook. And do some chores around the house. I will have the girls sweep off the back porch and tidy up before Daddy gets home. We will watch a show together tonight and maybe eat popcorn.

Just because the morning started off poorly doesn't mean the day is going to go downhill. I mean, sometimes it does. But today is NOT one of those days.

Because I say so.

And this picture makes me happy. Little Bit, nearly 2 years ago, helping Daddy in his wood shop. See all her Handy Manny tools in her tool belt. Cutie. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

All the New Products

I got the best thing in the mail a few weeks ago! It's hanging in baby's closet right now. I can't wait to use it.

This is one of the cool things about the 8 1/2 year gap between children--there are all these products out there that we didn't have last time!

So since Little Bit was born, I have seen all the cute nursing covers out there. I wanted one if I ever had another child. Little Bit was born in November and let's just say I did my fair share of public nursing because Christmas shopping, it had to happen! I'm all about nursing in public. If your child is hungry--feed them!! But I'm also a Christian, so I'm all about modesty.

My friend Rachel from The Other Huse, sent me this awesome package in the mail:

It's from her Etsy shop Shut the Front Door.

When I opened it, I saw the beautiful fabric she had let me pick out earlier.

Isn't it beautiful? I wanted something pretty and grown up looking. Not fabric that screamed "HEY LOOK! I'M NURSING OVER HERE! SEE THE BABY FABRIC MY NURSING COVER IS MADE OF?"

You understand. And I told her I wanted greens. But then I saw this one and fell in love. It was also important it not be black or dark because summer + Texas + nursing under black nursing cover = sweat. Lots of it.

It's the kind of nursing cover with the boning at the top so you can see baby. Like this one:

Picture source: totally swiped from Rachel's blog

Wait! I haven't even told you the best part! Rachel and her friend who run the Etsy shop are Army wives. Are you ready for the name of my awesome nursing cover?

Mammo Camo

Oh come on! That is hilarious!!

Speaking of camouflage...there is one other thing I would like before baby comes. Maybe after our income tax refund?

Modest Middles.  I know I have the nursing cover, but even for just around the house, it would be nice to not have the squishy middle parts of me hanging out for everyone to admire. Right? These make it so you can wear pretty much any shirt.

Also I have been VERY productive this week! Can't wait to share pictures with your tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Goings-Ons Around Here

I have energy for one big thing a day. Monday it was a doctor's appointment. Yesterday it was grocery shopping. Today--the kitchen. Heaven sakes the kitchen! It's AWFUL. I have no after-supper-energy to clean it up and it shows.

But that isn't your problem, now is it? :) We've been busy around here with the pressure of "oh my goodness only 9 1/2 weeks to go!!"

We got a used pack-n-play from a family in our homeschool group who was having a garage sale. It had been used for 4 kids and in storage so it needed a little scrubbing. Sweetheart needed to earn some money. Win-win!
 But she still needed more money so she washed the car too. The neighbor's tree (in picture) holds a lot of birds. 'Nuf said. Not good for car. Little Bit was washing up the bucket of baby toys for her new little sister.
Found new rugs for the girls' rooms at Target. Neither rug was over $20! Little Bit's is kind of small (just the size of her) but it will do for now. It matches.
 Sweetheart's matches PERFECTLY! Well, it will when we finish the rest of the room!
 We also went to IKEA Monday night and got a new dresser for Little Bit. I can't wait to get it put together (including all 200 pieces of hardware. I wish I was kidding) and moved into her room. THEN...we can move her old dresser to our room for the "nursery." And I really can't wait to get that space ready!

And this was just funny. Sweetheart is constantly reading. All. the. time. The other day I told her she didn't have time to get a book to read with her meal. She sighed and said, "OK" and headed back to the table to eat. When she finished, I saw this.
That would be the phone book that Little Bit sits on to reach the table. She was READING IT! THE YELLOW PAGES! Oh, that girl.

So this post kind of makes it sound like we've been super productive around here. I'll admit that we've gotten more done than usual because of the countdown!! But...when I look in the kitchen and laundry room, I don't feel so accomplished.

But talk to me later today.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Cure for Back Pain

I've been having terrible back pain. Sure, my back hurt sometimes with my other pregnancies (from what I can remember!) but nothing like this. The doctor said yesterday it's probably because the baby was laying "cattywampus" (Is that a Texas term?) and was probably on a nerve. It's not sciatica. I know that pain. My whole lower back just tenses up something awful. I've tried ice, heat, Tylenol, a warm bath and whining.

So last night when we got in bed, it hurt really badly. We had taken a longish ride in the truck yesterday evening and even though I had a pillow for support while riding, by the time we got home my back was acting up. I was laying in bed trying to get to sleep and thinking about crying. It really hurt.

And then, the children of Pleven came to mind. And I couldn't get them off of my mind.

Suddenly, I forgot all about my back hurting.

If you haven't followed this story, just read this one post. Just this one. The Lord is moving. Please pray.

It will make you forget your back pain or other troubles really quick.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Afternoon School

So the other day I experimented with running the errands in the morning and putting school off until after lunch. It worked BEAUTIFULLY!! I didn't nearly pass out in the grocery store and school still got done. We've continued the trend this week and we've been able to eat at home because Mama still had energy. This morning we did a Target run and I paid bills while the girls are enjoying the beautiful weather outside. But it's almost time to come in...

Anyway, I mentioned on Facebook about how afternoon school went great and all my homeschool homies start admitting how they've fallen asleep while reading aloud in the afternoons. Cracked me up!! I have never fallen asleep during school! Now don't get me wrong, I slept through most of the fall but I called school off first! :) I just thought that was funny. Anyone else doze off while teaching? (Also, if homeschoolers can achieve the results they do with obviously sleep-deprived moms at the wheel....just think what we could do with enough sleep!)

Looking forward to a field trip tomorrow and S is going to join us! It's about an hour and a half away from home so it'll feel like a mini vacation. Can't wait! AND...we have a date night this weekend too! (With a gift card!) It's going to be a great weekend!

Also...planning to finish Sweetheart's curtains
*found rugs for around $20 each for the girls' rooms
*hoping to hang some wall art up in Little Bit's room
*more than anything--I want a clean house!