Monday, June 30, 2008

So Tired...

Well, today has started off well, Eddie is outside rolling in the mud (he is a dog and we had a huge thunderstorm last night; thus he is in heaven),Little Dude is still contently playing in his crib, and JR is actually still asleep.

By far, the hardest part of the day with multiple kids/babies, is the morning. At least for me. Every so often I get a good morning like this, but most of the time, Eddie is barking to go out (in dog language, that means he has go to the bathroom to RIGHT NOW), Little Dude is begging for freedom, and JR is screaming to eat.

Though once we get past the morning rush of feeding/freeing everyone, things have been good at falling into a very manageable pattern of feeding, cleaning, napping, playing, etc.

But boy, am I ready to fall into bed when the time comes. At 10pm. Man, I'm old.


Saturday, June 28, 2008

My Boys




Looking at my boys today, I am just so grateful to be blessed with them. They are safe, healthy, and I am able to stay home and enjoy every moment that God gives me with them. For those moments I am forever thankful.

It is funny, but even though JR has only been home for 2 weeks, it seems like he has been part of our family forever, and we just weren't all together until he got here. Seeing my boys together is just overwhelming and amazing. Mostly, I am amazed I could have lived for so many years without them!



Friday, June 27, 2008

Give Kids The World

Sadly, one of my husband's co-workers has a daughter that is battling cancer. Up to a few weeks ago she was in remission; however, a recent check up showed her cancer was back even more aggressively, all over her body, and at the point where nothing can be done. Bill said she is not expected to make it even to Thanksgiving.

I can't imagine the pain they are going through, and all of us that know them are trying to pitch in and get them nominated for Make A Wish for a trip to Disney. I also just contacted Give Kids The World and as you can guess, their little girl's wish is to hang out with some princesses in Disney World. I am hoping we hear back soon.

In the meantime we are trying to find ways to raise money, because no matter what we are sending their family down there while she is still feeling well enough to enjoy everything. So, anyone with great fund raising ides, feel free to leave ideas!





Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Day in 6 Words

My blogger friend, Kelsey, has started a cool little thing called "My Life in 6 Words". What is it? How do you do it? You have to come up with a 6 word phrase that describes your life for that day. Sounds easy, but I have been sitting here for a bit trying to think of something with ONLY 6 words, so it is kinda hard! I am finally putting that English degree to work now...

My Day in 6 Words:

Laughing and crying with my boys.

Yep, it is 8am, and already I have laughed at both (one for being cute, the other for pooping on me) and cried with both (one for hitting his head against my knee when he tripped on a toy-it hurt! and the other for bitting me while nursing. Yes THAT HURTS.

Go check out Kelsey's Day in 6 Words-she has a couple of interesting ones!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Toddler Discipline





Toddler Discipline is always tricky, particularly because each child is different and each DIFFERENT child goes through the "terrible twos" differently. So, what is a parent to do when they have a toddler that doesn't respond to hand smacks or blatantly ignores spoken requests? Who doesn't care if toys are taken away? Who doesn't even mind having "time out" in his crib?

This:


Yes, that is Little Dude in his high chair at dinner. And Yes, he is facing the corner. And amazingly, it is the one punishment that gets through to him-he had decided no temptation is worth time in "THE CORNER".

We are amazed it worked, and actually only tried it because one night at dinner this past week he was just being CRAZY and throwing things, so out of frustration, Bill turned the high chair to the corner. Magic is all I can say.

Now all I have to do is threaten "THE CORNER" and almost every time Little Dude will straighten up. Being in his high chair, we can leave the immediate area of the dinning room and go to the livingroom or kitchen where we can still see him, but he knows we aren't paying attention to him. Also, he is strapped in, so he can't get out of the corner until we say.

Usually, I blame the timer on the stove, and say something like, "Little Dude, you were throwing your food, so you have to sit in the corner until the timer goes off in 5 min. " He cries and gets upset, but usually by the end of the 5 min when the timer goes off he calms down to sniffles, and then I ask something like "Are you going to listen to Mommy now? " and then his little voice, all cute says "Yes" (of course I am jinxing myself by writing that, watch, all day today he will say "No" and then I really will be at a loss.....) But in anycase, you get the idea.


That is what Works for Me!! Head on over to Rocks in my Dryer for more fun WFMW tips!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Adventures with Two...


Well, yesterday started off well, and ended well, but there were some moments in between that had me pulling my hair out-mostly because I didn't have enough arms. Come to think of it, maybe that was good, otherwise my hair might be all pulled out by the extra arms I was wishing for!

Little Dude is being very sweet to JR; however, he is not being as sweet to me. Yesterday he discovered the great fun of the word "NO". Yes, my friends, my toddler decided that on my first solo day with two babies to break out the NO factor. Can you just say Awesome? In reality it wasn't to bad, but I did end up feeling too overwhelmed to try leaving the house for long.

I am MUCH grateful to my awesome neighbors for getting a playgroup together for Little Dude so I could come hang out with some adults and Little Dude could dig in the dirt. Also, my neighbors are all cooking dinner for us this week-how fabulous is that? I am so blessed with wonderful friends who all are also the most wonderful neighbors too!

Well, lets see how today goes....we might be trying to go to library time, but that all depends on JR's eating-I am way too shy to try the public breastfeeding until I have practiced more with my sling at home....


Monday, June 23, 2008

I'm Up

Honestly, I can't believe I am up AND blogging right now...but it is amazing what a hot shower and a cup of coffee can do for a tired Mama!

My mother in law went home yesterday, and Bill and John are both at work all day, so today is my first official day alone with the boys. So far today is going great, Little Dude is eating breakfast right now, and JR is due to get up soon to nurse. I got Eddie (our dog) outside with food and water, so now he is good for the rest of today in case I can't summon up the energy to try to play with him while the boys nap. Hey, I even found a few seconds to blog! Yippie!

My engorgement is going MUCH better, as I have started just nursing JR on one side and then pumping the other empty during the same feeding. And using a hot compress before and during the nursing and a cold one after has made everything feel tons better as well. Ahhh, the fun of getting nursing established! I am excited this painful part seems to be ending, now the super fun, relaxing part of nursing can be enjoyed better! (At least that is what I experience and really enjoy)

Well, that is all for now. If things are going super well I might be on here later for a brief update of what getting out of the house for even a stroll around the block was like with two little dudes. If I am not back on here, you will know it either did not go well or it was so exhausting that I needed a nap afterwards.


Friday, June 20, 2008

More Picutres of JR and Little Dude

My awesome double stroller I got from ebay for 80 dollars. Awesome. This is at the park-I had to get a picture of the boys before I let Little Dude out. You can't tell it, but Little Dude was SO EXCITED to be at the park that I am amazed he is not blurry in this picture. JR is, of course, sleeping sweetly.
My handsome husband doing what he does best: being Super Daddy. I just love this picture of Bill and JR together.
Our JR getting ready to leave the hospital with us Sunday. Good thing I got his coming home outfit on Tuesday!
JR and his awesome Uncle John. John has been a huge help as well with giving Little Dude special attention while we all get adjusted to JR.
Our Little Dude enjoying the local park. He has been so super sweet to JR and even kept coming over to check on him and look at him while we were playing at the park.

The park was so super fun, and I have a lot of confidence going out with the two little guys now that I got to "practice" with Patty. I do need to work on getting the whole "nursing and babywearing" thing down...so far it is not very graceful, but I will be working on it at home so I can get it down. If I can accomplish it, then going out with the boys will become tons easier and much more free time-wise.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Twice the Fun

Well, a quick update: JR is doing well, and we are hoping his jaundice is better by Sat. so he can come off the lights we have set up at the house for him.

So far he is eating well, pooping well (didn't you want to know?), and sleeping well! He actually went 4 hours for me last night and the night before, so maybe tonight too...we will see!

Little Dude is doing FANTASTIC with him, and even insists on kissing JR goodnight now! It is so precious and just melts my heart to see them together. Tonight we even all read stories together before Little Dude went to bed. Gosh that was so much fun!

My mother in law, Patty, is an angel and I would be so lost without her here right now-she is teaching me the ropes of having two boys!

As you can see, I have slowed down a bit on my blogging-mostly because when I do have a moment now, I want to sleep! Hahah! Anyways, I will try to be better at updating you all and keeping in touch with everyone soon!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

JR Pictures!!!

These are all from Sat. night after JR got out of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. At 6lbs, he is not looking much like a premie here!








This one was at our house on Father's Day.



Happy Father's Day, Bill!!!




JR is HERE!!!

Wow guys, it was a whirlwind weekend!! I went to the Dr. Friday for a normal checkup and we found out that I had a leak in JR's amnio sack-so, instead of going out to lunch with Melissa and having play date with Jess and Kip-we headed over to the hospital to get induced!! Everything was so crazy scary for me at the time that I couldn't eat and since Little Dude was with me I had to call my brother in law, John, to come get him.

Bill was playing golf with some clients in Clayton, a good HOUR away, and everyone that had offered to help out when the time for JR came (in laws, neighbors, etc) were all out of town or not home when I called. Lets just say it was a Friday 13th to be remembered!!

I was induced at 2:30pm, and my contractions started at 8:30pm, so I was REALLY regretting not eating lunch earlier! But, I suppose it was good because I was so crazy worried about being induced so early that honestly I wasn't that hungry until afterwards. The doctors kept warning me that JR might have to be taken away if he wasn't breathing well, and to be prepared that he might only be 3 or 4 pounds. Even though they had all been debating moving my due date up to the 1st of July (and the appointment on the 13th was supposed to make it official if he was still measuring big, but of course he was measuring at the correct size for 35 weeks, making him officially 5 weeks 2 days early) So, my due date was left at the 15th of July, making JR a premie on record and making it a requirement for many tests and observation in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) to make sure he continued to thrive after birth.

So, by 10:50 I was only 5 cm (which if you are a mommy you know that is not a number you want to hear after being pumped full of drugs since 2:30 and having hard contractions since 8:30-side note, I am proud to say I made it with no drugs again). So, the nurses started to warm up JR's table for after birth and get everything ready to wisk him away to the NICU, and the Dr. went to go check on another patient. Wouldn't you know that between the one contraction where I was 5cm, by the end of the next one I was 10cm and JR came out in one push? Yes. I know, I still don't believe it, and I am pretty sure I have become an example case for new nurses.

The doctor wasn't there, the nurses had halfway gotten my bed apart, but had not finished setting up everything as they thought I probably had another 1/2 hour before reaching 10cm. They were across the room, and I said I had to push,and I know the nurses didn't believe me because they just smiled, as if to say, "no way, you're only 5 cm". By then I had grabbed the bed and birthed JR all by myself in one push. The nurses were in shock and one said "Is that the baby crying?" (he was under a sheet, as I was still under bedsheets too)THEN the doctor ran in, and Bill told him we wanted a discount. The doctor laughed, but really, we should get one.

They took JR away, checked him over, and luckily he was breathing well enough at the moment that I got to hold him for a sec. before they took him to the NICU to check out and get stable. Oh, and at birth he weighed 6 pounds. He is so tiny compared to Little Dude's birth size, but still, I am quite proud he was such a large premie!

Over the weekend we had some scary moments with JR's breathing, and we didn't get to spend much time with him at the hospital, so I pumped what I could for him to eat and he got some bottles to help keep his weight up.

We were quite blessed he checked out well enough to come home with us Sunday, as it looked like on Friday night/early Sat. he would have to stay longer. But, he was a little champ, ate well, kept his weight up, improved his breathing, and he reflexes also turned out great. Because of the difficulties he did end up having, and because of his appearance at birth (he still had all of the cheesy skin covering that mostly goes away before birth for full term babies)we know he was earlier than he wanted to be, but considering how well he is doing, I am inclined to think he may not have been as early as my official due date says. He is doing much better than most month early babies and he has actually already achieved rolling onto his side, and physically taking his pacifier in and out of his mouth with his hands. WHOA!

We were blessed to come home on Father's Day with our JR, and Little Dude is doing FANTASTIC with him so far. We have had a few "terrible two's" meltdowns, but all in all, Little Dude is very sweet to JR and even gives him kisses. I think the meltdowns are due to partly just pushing rules as a 2 year old would, and to the change in environment with all the visitors and JR, but hopefully, Little Dude will continue to be sweet to the baby.

At any rate, my next post will have pictures, and I want to thank all our friends, family, and Dakno co workers for their thoughtful gifts, food and play time dates for Little Dude to help us all out. THANK YOU!


Friday, June 13, 2008

I am in the hospital now. The doctor says it will be between 4 and 8 hours until JR arrives!!

My Job

So, there are many things us parents can call ourselves: ambassador of communication, world renowned mac and cheese chef, super cleaner, compassionate doctor of all ills, mediator of fights, the list can go on and on.

I was thinking the other day though, that many of us parents find ourselves in an odd position that our parents and grandparents didn't have (or at least most didn't have): Most of us have the ability to give our kids what they want right away. Either through credit cards, jobs that pay super well, and saving, our generation is blessed in not having to struggle the same ways generations before have. (In general).

My grandparents went through the depression, and my parents didn't even have a telephone when I was born. I remember us getting the first phone actually. My husbands grandparents had a dirt floor in the home they raised 7 children in, my mother in law and Bill's father were far from living a comfortable life when their children were young, let alone having extra money.

And it hit me the other day as Little Dude and I were playing with some toys at Babies R Us, that I had the ability to buy him whatever toys he wanted. To some extent, I HAVE made that mistake and bought him toys or things I thought he really wanted.

Though I want to buy the items for him and fill his every whim, it hit me as I tried to drag him off an over priced tricycle, (and for a brief bit thinking, well, it would be fun for Little Dude to ride and his birthday is coming up...) that I have a most important job title:

Raising a Member of Society.

What type of man do I want Little Dude and his brother to grown into? Certainly not into men that think their every whim should be satisfied immediately or that don't understand the satisfaction in saving quarters to make a dollar, and dollars to get something, or better yet, save. And not the type of men that don't understand you have to work hard and earn what you get out of life-nothing will be handed to you once you leave the nest.

So, in my opinion, our most important job as parents, is teaching our children, empathy, compassion, patiences, morals, work ethic, and a sense of pride when they EARN for themselves something, be it a toy now, car in their teens, or a job promotion in their adult life. Really, molding them into future citizens and leaders of our great country.

I know my children will be fine with the lessons, morals, and skills I want to teach them, but this job title will be harder on me than them-I just have to remember that the next time Little Dude is holding a toy and looking at me.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Father's Day

Today I am on a mission: I MUST get some wedding presents for weddings we have THIS Saturday and NEXT Saturday AND I MUST MUST MUST find something fabulous for my husband for fathers day. I also need to make and mail out the Father's Day cards to the Dad's in our family. I am hoping to get those done here soon, then run by Bill's office for him to sign, and get them mailed out today...whew!

I'm really at a loss though as to what to get/make for Bill for Father's Day. He made my Mother's Day so very special that I want to do something great for him too, but I just can't come up with any ideas that hit me as "ah ha! THATS IT!" Sigh.

If anyone has any cool homemade ideas, please feel free to share them. I have been racking my brain for something unique and preferably homemade (as I think those are the best anyway) and honestly, I have waited so long there is no time to order something...hahah! Oh well. If anything, I will be his servant all day while he relaxes and cook him whatever he wants and bring him his Popular Mechanics Magazine.

If we had a cool tree for a hammock I'd get him one to hang out in, but since we don't and it is really hot that idea is scratched. I'm sure I will think of something awesome......


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fruit Popsicles




Since it has been so hot lately, this Works for me Wednesday is a little treat that can help fight the heat!

Fruit Popsicles

ingredients needed:
Baby food/pureed fruit/or any mushed up fruit (this all depends on the age of your child, you'll know what he/she can handle eating)
Unsweetened fruit juice (or whatever fruit juice you prefer)

Empty a jar of baby food into a measuring cup (or add about 6-8 oz of whatever mushed up fruit/pureed fruit you chose to use). Add unsweetened fruit juice until you have 1 cup. Stir well and pour into a four section Popsicle mold. Insert handles and freeze until set. To double the recipe, add another cup of juice.

This is great for very young children as well as fun for older children to help make! Little Dude loves to "mix" for me, though be warned that colored juice will stain clothing if you let the kids help.

Well, that is what Works for Me! Check out other suggestions over at Rocks in My Dryer!



Tuesday, June 10, 2008

JR's Going Home Outfit!!




I found a cute outfit for JR to wear home from the hospital!! It is a little white newborn onesie (how do you spell that?) with a group of teddy bears on the front. Two are brown and one is blue, then underneath is says "One Of A Kind". Oh how cute! I am so super excited now! I also have some little blue pants and socks that match, though it may be too hot to have him dressed in too many clothes; we will have to wait and see.


I also saw THE CUTEST shirts that said "Little Dude" on them-AND they came in both of my boy's sizes!! So of course I had to get them. Oh I really can't wait to take a picture of both the boys wearing their matching shirts!!! Our Little Dudes!!


Pregnacy Update

Well, today is starting off early-I woke up at 6am for no reason. Whoa. I guess my body is getting ready for the baby, because try as I might, I could not go to sleep . So, I surrendered and make some coffee for everyone that would be getting up for work and traveling (my in laws are flying to St. Louis this morning for Aunt Kathy's Memorial) and decided to read a little. All in all a super sweet, nice, quiet morning alone. Maybe my body did now what it was doing waking me up at 6am!

My varicose veins are actually doing better, but now I have reached the point where my feet and hands swell up by mid afternoon. I really hate having to take my wedding ring off, one because I am scared I will lose it, two because my finger will feel weird and bother me without it on. But overall, I haven't had any problems so I count myself very lucky.

The baby is kicking like crazy and I feel like he has dropped, though I read that isn't supposed to happen until right before labor with second/third/etc pregnancies. So, I don't know, but it certainly feels like he is kicking a lot lower! And my asthma has stopped acting up as much as it was a month ago. Everything is still popping and feeling like it is stretching-it will be interesting to see on Friday if anything has been happening (effaced/dilated). I start going to see the doctor every week this week and am so excited to be at this point! Yay!

Today I am on a mission to find a new going home outfit for JR, and after I drop Ed and Patty off at the airport I am going to head on over to Babies R Us and take a look around. If I find something cute, I'll get a picture of it up here.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Oh Baby!

Well, I had the most wonderful weekend! I hope all you guys did too!! My in laws are in town until Tuesday, so Patty and I will be painting the town red today! (Or just trying to stay cool in air conditioned shopping areas)

I got all kinds of great gifts for my birthday, and Little Dude has been LOVING to run up and down the hallway holding my balloons. He is just in love with them. I have to say the best present though was getting family pictures taken!! Bill finally caved and agreed to do family pictures and set it all up for my birthday! Yay! We got some great maternity shots too, which I am just so excited about. The photographer, Monika Dechene, was FANTASTIC and even offered to do some newborn photos for free because she doesn't have any newborns in her portfolio! OHHHH I am soooo excited!! (can you tell?) We also got a fantastic deal on the maternity photos because she didn't have any, so we will be her "maternity examples". Cool beans! I almost feel famous now, knowing that, heehee! Here is a little teaser from her blog with a preview photo and some other teasers. I can't wait to see the rest!

Well, my Little Dude is up and ready to eat, so I better get to cooking something!


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Today is my 27th birthday!!!! Yippie! (Can you tell I love birthdays?)

I'm very excited it fell on a Saturday this year, too! Bill and I are going to spend the day together with Little Dude and later this afternoon I am getting a mommy massage and pedicure/manicure at Skin Sense Day Spa. Ohhhh I am so excited! Then later we are going to my new favorite place to eat: Garden Gate Cafe. We can walk to it from our house and they have THE BEST Ruben sandwich and French fries ever. It is a little mom and pops type place too, which makes me love it even more.

Tomorrow my in laws are coming up and Fab, Leighanne, Julie, Adam and John will be coming over so we can go eat and walk around the mall (read: girls are going to spend money, guys are going to the movie/apple/electronics store and pray us girls forgot our debit cards), so almost all our family will be able to catch up and hang out. I am super happy about that!

And what present did I get? Little Dude and JR got me "27 Dresses" (and wrapped it in a "transformers" gift bag) and Bill says I have to be patient because I have little surprised coming all day. Cool beans!

All in all, it has been a wonderful way to turn 27!




Friday, June 6, 2008

Wa Wa?



Well, my Little Dude's vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds now! It is very exciting and scary and, maybe, just a little sad. Some of his baby talk is disappearing, and I see him becoming a "big boy" more and more every day.

As of yesterday, his word word for water changed from "wa" to "wa wa". He cant say the "t" sound yet. But he is so close,and I already miss that little "wa". He can also say, Hi, Bye, Baby, Dada, Mama, please, no, yes, cheese, O's (thats for cheerios) and shoes very clearly, woof woof for dog, occasionally say dog as "doog". Meat is "mea mea" (again, no t). Uncle John is "cle on" or just "on", grapes are "apes", cats are "meow" (though he sometimes barks at them too) juice is "oooice" and milk is "mil"

I know there are more that are escaping me at the moment, but for all you family and friends that haven't seen him in a bit, you get the idea. He is also fairly fluent in sign language, which I am so glad we taught him. I am convinced we have avoided many a temper tantrums from our strong willed son by giving him a way to communicate. I highly recommend using it and hope I can find the time to teach JR like I did with Little Dude.

Well, we are getting ready for our playdate now with Kip, and perhaps we will go to Marbles! Have a Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Not so sure about today

Well, I did have big plans to take Little Dude to the park before 9am, but he is still sleeping and honestly I feel too tired and swollen to rush out the door after he gets up. So, I am thinking today might be a day to walk around the mall or something. I wish I had someone to go with; that always makes window shopping more fun!

It is already 82 degrees here. Wow. I love hot weather, but this is a little on the extreme side. On top of having an oven in my belly, having to wear maternity hose, AND having a little toddler to entertain just makes being outside way to hard and makes heat exhaustion way to dangerous.

So, overall, I am not so sure what I am going to do today. I have work to do for Dakno that I am going to catch up on during Little Dude's nap, and since my maternity leave starts soon, I need to get notes together for training some new girls to take my place. (I have to say I feel quite proud they hired 3 girls to take on what I do; I had no idea I was that valuable!)

Anyways, today is a lazy, pregnant, hot day where Little Dude will probably have the run of the house because I'll be to hot and tired to run after him...thank goodness the weekend is almost here!


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Crazy Pictures

So, my "blogger friend" Kelsey,(we bonded over Indiana Jones) over at My Sweet Life has given me some great tips on photography, so I thought I would share the fruits of my efforts to follow the tips. You should head on over to her blog to read more great tips!




These are flowers Bill got me for our 4th anniversary. My wedding bouquet was full of stargazer lilies, and they are my favorite flower ever. Here I am trying out my macro function on my camera to get a "different" picture of the flowers than I normally do. I usually photograph the whole flower or bouquet, and not super close like this. I think it came out OK. The top one is my favorite, as I think it is a totally crazy photo of a flower (this is from the side). I used the flash in attempts to make the background dark-I'm thinking now I need to try it again with a lower appature setting. And maybe try turning out the kitchen light. Hmmm, I might add to the post later in the day to see if it works.


Here is my sweet Little Dude (almost 2) with his buddy Cole (3). Even though you can't see their faces you can just tell they are having the best time exploring the big field at the park. And you can see just how sweet of friends they are walking together.

Thanks for the tips, Kelsey!!

WFMW-Mini City




Well, I have to say that there is one bane to the sanity of preschool teachers and mommies everywhere: RAINY DAYS. Worse is several in a row. So, this week I am giving you guys an activity my preschool classes loved, but that could also be adapted for older or younger kids.


Mini City

Supplies needed:
Masking tape
small cars

Others for fun:
various boxes of food wrapped in tin foil or decorated with crayon coloring
little people or dolls
legos



Before taping you floor or carpet, test the tape on a small area to make sure it can easily be removed. leaving the tape on the floor for more than a day may also make it gummy and difficult to remove. DON'T use duck tape if you plan on leaving it down for more than a day. I found scotch tape to be the easiest to get up and if you have older kids and darker carpet, you could even let them "paint" the road ways with lines using a couple of colored pens or crayons. You could also certainly do this with roadway with blocks or other barriers to define the road, if you have enough to do it.

Directions:

Use the masking tape on your floor or carpet to create an indoor roadway for small cars. Very young children will enjoy a simple roadway with any of their appropriatly sized cars to run their cars along. (Very young kids shouldn't use the matchbox cars if they are still trying to "eat" toys)

Older children will enjoy intricate roadways running throughout the house, adding parking lots, shops, schools, and accessorizing with the dollhouses, toy people, and animals.

You could even add a "raceway" for the cars and time how fast the kids can get their cars going down the "drag strip". (This activity should be done one at a time so there is no pushing) This is also a great way to wear out the kids before nap time, or to just give you a little down time as they tire out!

Decorating boxed food for skyscrapers is easy, if you dont mind using tin foil to wrap them in. Or you could take the time with your older children to either paint, color, or cut out their own buildings for the city or country scene they want to make. You could even have the kids paint, color, draw their own backgrounds on normal paper and tape them to the wall (again, test the tape on a small piece of wall before you tape colorings everywhere) and have a landscape for the little cars and people to enjoy.


Well, I hope this helps all of you trying to figure out what to do on a rainy day, or what to do with a weeks worth of rainy days! Head on over to Rocks in My Dryer for more fun ideas! And Good Luck!


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Green Our Vaccines

Well, today over at To Think Is To Create, Steph is talking about a very important subject-children and vaccines. You can read all about her son and his story here.

Honestly, I am not very informed on the issue of to vaccinate or not to vaccinate our children, but I do know that I have met quite a few people online and in person who believe (and have strong evidence to support) that vaccines caused problems/issues/etc for their child.

To start with, I was shocked when I started to meet a few people that don't vaccinate their children, and even more shocked when I realized there were so many. I would have never even dreamed of questioning vaccinations when Little Dude was a baby. And I was VERY shocked to start hearing about and reading about the correlation between vaccines and autism, seizers, and other medical issues in young children.

All I can say is that our son was vaccinated, and has not shown any issues, and we will probably vaccinate our next son; however it might be selective vaccination. Why? Because I just started reading David Kirby's book Evidence Of Harm, (I got it at the library today actually, after reading Steph's post)and there truly is some eye opening information in there about toxins in vaccines and other such scary stuff that only makes the job of being a parent even harder.

There is a rally going on today in Washington DC, and Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carey will be there talking about vaccines and Jenny's son. I'm sure the news will be covering it, and you can find more info here, here and here.

But, again, all we can do is be informed and make the best decision we can for OUR children based on how we feel, know, believe, and what WE think is best. Remember not to let others pressure you into one choice or the other, after all, God chose you as the best person to parent your child, so ultimately, you will do what is best for your child and your family.



Monday, June 2, 2008

My new Ring Sling

My ring sling came in the mail, just as I was hoping! Yay! It did take me a little bit to mess around with setting it all correctly and comfortably, even with the great directions, as it is more complicated than my pouch sling. But is the complexity of the ring sling worth it? You bet!

I got mine from Keiki-Kuddlerz, a company started and managed by a stay at home mom in Hawaii! It is so soft that I wish I could have clothes made out of this material. And oh so beautiful too!! There were tons of lovely fabrics to choose from, but from the perspective of having two sons and my husband working in construction engineering, I had to find a sling that would be beautiful for me and approved by him to carry his sons in. This was definitely it.


The flower design makes me feel ready for a luau, and a stroll on a beach, while the dark reds and olive greens make the baby blue and white colors pop, giving the sling a manly Hawaiian shirt feel. (perfect for carrying my boys around in and for Bill to want to carry them as well!). Trust me, the pictures I took don't do the beauty of this sling justice!


There are two toy hooks as well, and you can order slings with multiple hidden pockets as well, making your baby wearing truly hands free for quick stops when you just need a debit card or a little cash and don't want to carry the whole purse or diaper bag!

Mine ended up not having hidden pockets like I thought it did,(due to the fact I misunderstood the description, I will blame pregnant brain for that) but for the ridiculously low price I got it for on ebay, I can not complain at all-in fact, I am so super happy with it that I just REALLY can't wait for my new son to arrive and ride around in it!! Normally the slings will run you anywhere from $60 to $90, depending on the options and material you want, and trust me, it is well worth it. It is so well made and I even put 40 pounds of weights in it and walked around my house for awhile to test it out-can you believe it was comfortable the entire time? YES!!! And it felt super secure as well! Little Dude loves it already, and I am already planning to get these as baby shower presents for all my friends interested in baby wearing.

Yes, I am elated about my ring sling and so glad I took the chance to try one out!!