Monthly Archives: September 2009

South America – Day 38

I was doing a little research this morning for baby wraps and found the Duggar Family website.  They are a facinating family.  I don’t know a lot about them but I know that they have tons of kids.  It is not a chore for them to love all of their kids.  They live totally debt free and the do not live in want!  I saw pictures of their house.  How many people do I know have a house like that and can say that it, and everything in it, is totally paid for?  I’m guessing not many!  They are such a huge testimony to God’s blessings when you totally surrender your life to Him and His will in everything… even how many kids you have.

I also discovered, via a link on their page, that I apparently practice (sort of) attachment parenting.  Brody and I worked really hard to get him on a schedule.  With Derick gone I have to have some sort of schedule to count on or my life is total chaos!  He was very receptive to it from the beginning.  God really blessed me with a good-natured baby… actually 4 good-natured babies.  Anyway,  we have a basic schedule but at the same time, I’m not stupid about it.  When he was sick, I wasn’t a nazi about the schedule and I fed him when I knew he needed feeding.  But, when he was feeling better we went back to the schedule, which is eating every 2 1/2 to 3 hours, and waking him up to eat during the day if he is asleep during feeding time.  Then at night I let him sleep as long as he wants (in hopes that he will sleep through the night.)  I also have a cradle in my bedroom where he sleeps at night, and takes most of his naps.  Apparently, according to this article (which sited Dr. Sears) this is a practice called co-sleeping.  I was always under the assumption that co-sleeping always involved sharing a bed.  I absolutely cannot do that.  I do not sleep when my baby is in bed with me.  And when Derick is home, I can’t sleep when any of my kids are in bed with me.  (With him gone, I’m not near so anxious to take them back to their own bed.  Sometimes its nice to have someone I love to snuggle with, even if its not my husband!)

When I was working after my first 3 kids were born, I always layed them down to go to sleep.  I did this because I didn’t want the babysitter to be married to the rocking chair at naptime everyday.  Christian actually hated being rocked.  One time I was trying to rock him to sleep and he just kept getting madder and madder.  Out of frustration, I finally layed him in his bed.  Immediately he was calm and he went right to sleep.  When Aida and Allyn were born, I worked at getting them to that point.  Really it didn’t take that much work.  Probably more for Aida than for any of the rest.  I had to just realize that I had done everything I could for her, and she was gonna cry whether I was holding her or not.  With Brody, sometimes, especially right now, there are times when I just have to put him down.  I have 3 other kids that need my attention, I just don’t have a choice but to put him down and do what I need to do.  Most of the time he’s sits in his bouncy seat really well.  There are nights though (usually when its bed time for the others) that he cries and we just have to listen to it. 

When I was little, I remember going to a friend’s house.  My friend’s mom was babysitting a baby boy.  He never cried, and never complained but when you picked him up he just layed on you like you were the greatest thing in the world.  My friend’s mom told me that he never got held at home.  I felt sorry for him, but as a kid, it made it fun for me to hold him, because he loved it when anyone held him.  Now that I am a parent, I really feel sorry for babies like that.  While I don’t hold my baby ALL  the time, he gets plenty of attention.  Sometimes, I worry about the kind of attention he gets from his siblings, especially Allyn… he likes to play rough.  But, he certainly isn’t neglected.  My favorite thing right now is to have people come to my house and hold my baby so that I can do things for my other kids, or do a little cleaning. 

Oh, I guess since this is labeled “Day 38” and that was technically yesterday, I guess I should put in an update for yesterday.  I went to Bible Study.  The study on Esther just keeps getting better and better!  Then I went to a friend’s house to get a Moby Wrap.  She is loaning it to me to use in the airport on my trip.  I have someone else bringing me a Bjorn Baby to try.  I thought I’d see which one worked the best and then take that one.  Last night a couple of my friends came over and brought dinner and straightened up my living room and my kids bedrooms and held my baby.  That made me feel so much better.  Its so nice not to wake up to a disaster in the mornings. 

Anyway, back to the subject at hand.  I have been seeing a lot of things on the internet lately about attachment parenting, so, incase anyone cares, I thought I’d share my thoughts on it.  In my opinion, I think the Ezzo’s (Growing Kids God’s Way) make a lot of valid points.  Although, I also think they had two pretty compliant daughters.  (My daughter is not so compliant.)  I also think that if you are actively involved in your children’s lives and really show love to your kids, then responding to their needs will just come naturally.  For me, it doesn’t have anything to do with deciding on one method or the other.  I just love my kids and want to show them in whatever way I can how much I love them.  If that means I have to let Aida or Allyn (or Christian) cry for a while I do.  If that means I have to let Brody cry because Aida needs my attention right now, I do that too.  But, rest assured, we are never short on hugs and kisses in our house!

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South America – Day 37

I’m starving.  Its 10:00 at night and I wasn’t hungry at dinnertime.  Now I’m starving.  I have a giant pot of chili in the fridge and I have stuff to make an amazing salad.  I could make myself a ham sandwich.  But any of the above would involve going downstairs and actually making something.  And going downstairs would involve getting out of bed.  I’m just not interested in getting out of bed right now.  So, here I sit with my rumbling tummy.

I was the one that had a melt down today.  I’m so tired of my dirty house.  And, I get so tired of the kids just making it worse.  I know they are just kids, but Derick’s not here for me to say, “Can you just keep them in the next room while I get dinner made?”  or “… cleaned up?”  Or a typical question in our house was “Do you want to give baths or clean up the kitchen?”  Usually I cleaned and he bathed.  Now I have to bathe the kids and dinner doesn’t get cleaned up.  I get so frustrated when I tell my kids over and over again, what I expect of them.  And sometimes I think I’m just talking to hear myself talk.  There are many examples today, but one was when I told Christian, as I was going into the bathroom, not to eat any more snacks before dinner and then I shut the door.  When I came out, the kids were chowing down on saltine crackers (really… if you are gonna steal snacks, why not steal something good???)  How long does it take a woman to pee.. 20 seconds maybe.  And in that 20 seconds evidently they totally forgot what I said.  I get tired of telling them 20 times to put pajamas on, and brush their teeth.  I get tired of having sticky floors because they spilled something on them and left it to dry on its own.  I’m tired of my bedroom being dirty because when I’m sitting in my chair feeding Brody, Aida and Allyn think its time for a free-for-all, no matter how many times I tell them no.  I’m tired of my stuff getting ruined because apparently I haven’t taught my kids very well how to respect other people’s things.  So, I had a melt down today.  I yelled at my kids.  There… I admitted it on the internet.  Now the entire world knows that some days I just can’t handle it. 

Do the seemingly perfect parents REALLY have it all together?  You know the ones, they have a clean house and children.  The kids are well behaved.  They make a home cooked meal every night.  And the list goes on and on.  I don’t like comparing myself to anyone.  But it happens anyway.  Then I find myself assuming that people are comparing themselves to me.  Certainly not because I’m this spectacular parent, but more because I’m busy comparing my kids with theirs and how much better theirs are than mine. 

I know this is all just in my head but sometimes I feel like it just comes naturally.  I even feel like they deserve it on occasion.  Boy, I’m feeling pretty guilty now.  Well, I need to go.  Derick may call me on Skype tonight.  Hope he doesn’t mind me crying on his shoulder through the computer screen.

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South America – Day 36

I don’t even know what to write about sometimes.  I try really hard not to make this sound newsy, and to put a little feeling into it, but sometimes I just feel so blah.  I have missed Derick so much this weekend!  I don’t know why this weekend is so much harder than any previous weekend.  Well, actually, I do.  I think its because the house is a total disaster.  That’s it.  That’s all it takes.  I want, so bad, to just keep my house picked up.  Its not just having little kids that keeps my house messy.  Its having a baby that I have to drop everything and nurse 7 or 8 times a day.  And while I’m nursing not only can I not clean up the existing mess, but Aida and Allyn are determined to make an even bigger mess (or 2 or 3…).  I don’t know why a messy house affects me like it does.  I wish I could just take it all in stride.  Just do one thing at a time to get it cleaned up.  Sometimes I look at the mess and I feel just paralyzed.  Then nothing gets done.  So, that is my major stress tonight… my dirty, messy, cluttered house. 

Christian went to his Jolliff grandparent’s house this weekend.  He seemed pretty emotional when he was sitting with me in church this morning.  He didn’t want to be in the sanctuary, first of all.  I had to explain to him that all of the kids from first grade on up are in the sanctuary now.  No one goes to class for story hour until after the singing.  So, he stood and sang with me for a few minutes and then he started crying.  He said he didn’t know why he was crying.  After a few minutes he had me send a text message to Joe and to Derick that said “From Christian:  I miss you”.  I think maybe its a let down to leave one dad and not be able to go home to the other.  I think Christian really seems to depend on that masculine security that Derick provides in our home on a daily basis.  Tonight we went to Tanner’s Orchard and my dad went with us.  I think that was good for Christian to have a little more male interaction. 

We fed the goats, played on the playground, ate ice cream, lost Allyn… wait… What??  Yeah, that’s right.  This is why I don’t like going anywhere.  I was playing with Aida.  Kendra had been playing with Allyn, my dad had Christian and my mom had Brody.  Apparently someone (all of us at the same time) turned their back and that’s how fast he disappeared.  Someone said they saw someone taking him to security.  I took off running to the store office.  A man stopped me and said his sister took him inside.  They couldn’t find who he belonged to so she took him inside.  I, of course, didn’t feel relief until I had him in my arms again.  And, Allyn gave me a huge grin.  He probably wondered what all the fuss was about.  That boy is just like his older brother – he knows no stranger!

He got a piece of hard candy in the office and later Christian saw it and asked where he got it.  I explained that you have to get lost and then taken by total strangers to the office in the store, in order to get candy.  Then Kendra warned him not to try it.  I agreed!  I’m not interested in losing anymore kids tonight.  But, instead of hard candy, all the kids had ice cream and apple cider donuts for dinner.  What a good mom I am!!  And, Christian actually asked if we could have a real dinner when we got home.  I, of course, said no. 

Oh, I think its time for me to sign off.  I am so tired!  Keeping up with 4 kids wipes me out everyday!  Anytime anyone wants to come play with them or take them off my hands for a while I’ll let ya… but not this weekend.  This weekend I’ll be in California visiting Derick with his little girl and new baby.  I wish I could take all my kids, especially after I saw Christian crying in church today, but, well, I can only do what God provides for me to do.

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South America – Day 35

Today is the hardest day of the week – Saturday.  There is no routine, no schedule, nothing to look forward to throughout the day.  I’m just left with screaming children, and mounds of housework.  I haven’t announced my new posts on facebook lately.  Consequently, no one has read what I have posted.  I guess that means I can say whatever I want, no holds bar, right?!  Well… maybe not. 

Derick called me this morning, before he went to bed.  He was up working all night.  It was the first real conversation I have had with him in two weeks.  I should be excited… no, I should be elated.  But, for some reason, I’m not.  I think it makes me miss him even more.  Believe me, I want him to call.  I want to talk to him everyday. 

Saturday evening – Today was a really hard day.  I think it was the hardest day so far.  And now that I am sitting down to write my blog, Brody is starting to squirm like he may want to eat.  That is indicative of how my day has gone today.  Its been one thing after another.  At one point I sat down in my room to feed Brody and about a minute later Aida came upstairs with no pants on and Allyn came up totally naked with peanut butter all over his hands and face.  Great!  That’s just what I want all over my bedroom.  It would go nicely with the marker and ink pen all over the walls the chair and ottoman, and the bedsheets!  If ever there was a day that I wanted to give up nursing, it was today.  Like I said, those are the kind of things that I was dealing with today. 

It seems to me, that sometimes… well most of the time, Aida and Allyn get in the most trouble while I’m nursing.  I think its because they know its harder for me to deal with them when Brody is attached to me and I’m married to my chair.  Aida likes to get on the top bunk and then tease Allyn because he’s too little to get up there.  She likes to jerk things ut of his hands just to make him cry or maybe hit him in the head with some random object.  If the two of them are playing nicely that may involve finding their own snacks.  Basically, get in the fridge and eat whatever you want as fast as you can so that mom doesn’t find out.  Then forget about eating dinner, we’ve had snacks already.  If they do happen to stay close to me while I’m nursing its usually up in my room and they are either coloring or watching a movie.  That is, if they aren’t crawling on top of me and Brody.  Coloring doesn’t necessarily mean in the coloring book.  It could be on the floor, or on my chair, or on my bed or on the wall.  And watching a movie doesn’t mean sitting nicely with their eyes glued to the TV.  It means jumping on the bed and screaming while I am trying to watch the movie and trying to kiss and hug Brody.  Today was especially rough.  And it didn’t help that I had appointments everyday this week which means no time to clean up after ourselves.  So, my house is a disaster!

I have so many people volunteer their services during the week, like when kids are in school.  But Saturday is really the hardest day.  And who wants to give up their Saturdays to “care for the orphans and the widow”.  I know we aren’t really orphans and a widow.  There are just some days that I feel so helpless.  I can think of all these things that need to be done and most days I don’t even come close.  And by the time the kids are in bed, I don’t want to even think about house work.  I just want to talk to Derick if I can and go to bed.  Writing my blog is just a bonus most of the time.  I am so glad today’s over.  My one hope is that Brody sleeps through the night.  He slept 8 1/2 hours last night!!  It was very refreshing! 

Derick, if you do read this… I love you, baby!  I can’t wait to see you in 5 days!!  I can’t believe you’ve been gone for a month and a half!  The kids and I pray for you everyday!

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South America – Day 34

Last night Brody woke me up to eat at about 3:30am.  At first I didn’t want to get out of bed.  I layed there wishing he had slept for just another hour or 2.  Then I noticed I had a text message from Derick.  Then I noticed he had just sent it.  I was so excited to find that he was available for about a half hour to text back and forth.  Even if it only was about 5 or 6 texts each way, that’s better than texting once and it takes all day for him to get it, then he can’t even respond.  Or no texting at all.  I love modern technology.  Today I was helping my friend get Skype ready to use on her computer so that she can talk to her husband tomorrow from Iraq.  I really hope everything goes well for her with that!  It makes such a huge difference to be able to see Derick’s face while I’m talking to him.

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South America – Day 33

Its official.  Aida is coming with me to California.  I talked booked her plane ticket today.  I hope this is the right decision.  I’m a little apprehensive about it.  I’m not sure why.  I know, I know.  It won’t be the same kind of vacation as it would be alone.  But, I’ll have Brody with me, so we really won’t be alone anyway.  We leave a week from today.  I told Derick he’s not allowed to read my blog posts right now.  I think I want it to be a suprise.  I thought about making it a suprise for Aida too, but I caved and told her.  When I got my debit card out to pay for the ticket, she thought the card WAS the ticket, and she wanted to hold it.  Then she kept telling me it was time to go to California.  So I showed her on the calendar that we still have another week before we leave.  She is about as excited as I am.

Tonight I went to the Peoria Christian School Fall Banquet.  I realied tonight that it was exactly 20 years ago that I started there as a seventh grader.  My parents have been paying tuition for 20 years!  That’s like a house… they could have paid for a house with that.  But, I have to thank God that they didn’t.  They sent us to school at PCS instead.  I loved going to school there.  I wouldn’t change it for the world.  I still have a sister there and now my son is there.  God really wanted Christian at this school this year.  He just paved the way, at the very last minute for him to go.  Derick and I didn’t see how it would ever work.  But God, in his perfect will and perfect timing, just worked everything out that needed worked out. 

 The banquet is always a great time to hear testimonies and hear the vision for the school.  This year the administrator talked about an award that the elementary school won.  It was the “No Child Left Behind” award.  Con. Aaron Schock presented the award.  It was chosen based on the schools standardized test scores.  Fifty school nationwide received this award, out of a pool of 27,000.  While I didn’t go to elementary school there it still makes me proud to say that I graduated from PCS.  And, I am proud to say that my son is a student there.

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South America – Day 32

I’m getting lazy about posting to my blog everyday.  The stress of some things are just weighing on me.  And its hard to deal with things alone.  I know, I know… I’m not alone, I have Jesus.  That’s true, but there is something about the tangible presence of another human being, the presence of my husband.  I miss him so much tonight.  I don’t know why tonight is different.  It probably has to do with Aida.  She has really been missing her daddy lately.  For the last week and a half she has complained at least 3 or 4 times a day that she is tired.  Last night she put herself to bed.  Sometimes as often, she complains that she is sick, and she has been wetting the bed every night.  I made appointments with the doctor for all of my kids (we use military insurance now and had to switch doctors and I needed to get them established).  Today was supposed to be Allyn’s turn  but I called and switched it to Aida because of all of these problems she’s been having.  The doctor said he didn’t see anything wrong with her.  He got a urine sample and he said it looked normal but he was going to send it in for cultures anyway, just to make sure.  We talked a little about Derick being gone.  I asked him if I should take her with me when I go visit Derick next weekend.  He didn’t think so.  He thought that when we got back we may be starting over as far as the symptoms go.  Then I called someone from the Antioch Group.  He’s the counselor that I saw for 2 years after my x-husband and I split up.  I wanted a professional opinion.  He’s known me for a long time, he knows my family and he knows psychology.  So, I asked him if he thought this was all because she misses Derick and does he think that I should take her along when I go visit next weekend.  He said yes to both.  He thought it would be good for her to see him and re-establish in her mind that Dad’s not gone forever and he is coming home, but not now.  Now, he’s working to support and protect us.  So, I’m thinking very seriously about it, before I take the plunge and buy a very expensive nonrefundable plane ticket.  (For those of you wondering, the Lord has provided in abundance for Derick and I lately, so I’m not concerned about the cost of the plane ticket so much but if I really want to go that route.)  I feel like I’m always on emotional overload and sometimes it seems very hard to make rational decisions, especially at the end of the day.   I think I need to stop now and go to bed.  Maybe I’ll write more in the morning.  Maybe not.

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