Posted 12-18-2011 at 01:22 PM by whitneywalters

Looking back at Christmas when I was child holds fond memories of baking cookies, making Christmas candy, candle light church services and opening one present on Christmas Eve. All of these are traditions that I have carried on now that I have kids of my own.

My first child was only eight months old his first Christmas so he was not really able to take part in these traditions yet but I still did them with him. I sat him in the high chair and he played with toys while I made cookies and candy, took him to candle light Christmas service, even though he slept the whole time in the sling, he was still there with me and we helped him open one of his gifts on Christmas eve.

Fast forward five years and three more children we are getting ready to do all these traditions again. I love this time of year. I have already picked out all the cookie recipes, decided what kind of candy we are making, how we are giving it to, which present I am going to let them open and I am really looking

Diaper Swapers

Eight Hours Lived in Fear

Posted 12-18-2011 at 12:12 PM by Krista

What a day, what a day! I have never been so emotionally drained in all my life. The only thing I feel right now is relief. Around eleven this morning I got a call from my Mother in Law, who was watching my girls so that I could get some house keeping and studying done. She was calling to let me know that my oldest had taken a bad fall off a ladder. She fell about five feet, on her head, onto the concrete. The worst part is that her grandparents weren’t even a foot away—they were, in fact, taking pictures of my thirteen month old daughter as she climbed the bottom rung of the ladder.

I cannot describe the feeling that washed over me. At first, I was all business, asking questions: When did she fall? How high was she when she fell? What did she do when she fell? Did she scream? Did she pass out? I quickly decided that I needed to just go see her, and as I waited for my Mother-in-Law to come, I did some of the fastest cleaning of my life. I discovered today that I cannot sit still in the face of a crisis. I have to keep moving.

The moment that I first saw her my heart turned over in my chest. She looked like she had been beaten very badly. There was a large lump on her forehead, and the lump was lined with scratches. Her left eye was swollen, her lip was busted, there was dried blood under her

A New Pet

Posted 12-18-2011 at 08:10 AM by whitneywalters

When our cat disappeared our kids were pretty upset about it. We looked everywhere for her, called local shelters and vets and went to all the neighbors houses. We waited a little while and then decided to get another cat for the kids.  A friend of ours had been looking for a new home for a one year old black cat, already spayed and up to date on shots. We decided to bring this kitty into our home.

I went out and picked her up. I let her ride on my lap instead of in a cage, she sat there and meowed at me but was really calm in the car. I brought her into the house and slowly let the kids introduce themselves to her, she loved them all right away. She purred and rubbed her face on there hands, they were thrilled to just sit there and pet her. We named her Raven. After she had been in the house for an hour or so I let the dog in.

Ever-Changing Parenthood

Posted 12-18-2011 at 07:02 AM by Krista

I believe that parenting is a constant learning process. I have two daughters, three years old and one, and they keep me on my toes! Sometimes, I wonder how we’d ever deal with another one. After all, the little people would outnumber us!

Just when I started to take a breath and think to myself, Hey, I’ve got this, my youngest started walking. I thought I’d be more prepared this time around—after all, I’ve already gone through it once before. What I haven’t gone through before is having two. So, while my youngest is going through her destructive period—she can now reach the forbidden DVDs!—my oldest seems to have forgotten her teaching and rediscovered hers.

So, giggling and egging each other on, they get into the cabinets and pull out every piece of Tupperware. Or they dive into the bookshelf and leave dozens of novels lying on the floor. No sooner than I find one mess to clean, they’re starting on another.

Now, don’t get me wrong—it can be awfully cute to see them as cohorts in crime. Now that my youngest can run and play, she is infinitely more interesting to her big sister. It is fun to watch them run and play together. When one of them starts giggling, they just can’t seem to stop. Still, this leads to the unpleasantness of a destruction spree they seem to go on daily.

Snow day activities

Posted 12-17-2011 at 01:12 PM by whitneywalters

Living in Iowa we get a lot of snow each year and while my kids like the snow they only like it for about twenty minuets before they are ready to go back where it is warm. So on days that are cold and snowy we do a lot of indoor snow day activities. These are our go to activities for these days.

1. Make cookies.

Becoming a Mama Bear

Posted 12-17-2011 at 12:10 PM by Krista

I’ve always heard that a woman who has children can turn into a “Mama Bear” when their kids are hurt. Throughout my pregnancy I was unsure about this because I am a very non-confrontational. How could I be sure that I could step up and take care of my baby?

The thing that I’ve found is that there is no simple answer to that. Having a baby just changes you, and you can never know in which ways that will be. For me, I became more vocal when it came to my child’s needs, regardless of what others may think. For other people, it may be the motivation to quit smoking, or becoming a safer driver, or what have you.

I have two daughters, and my oldest tends to be less than careful of her sister. She is prone to giving her a shove when she’s mad at her, trying to drag her in by her foot when I tell them to come in, or snatch toys away from her. I have to admit, the minute I hear my youngest crying I usually say, “Alison what are you doing to your sister?” In this case, it’s guilty until proven innocent.

Kids Christmas Crafts

Posted 12-17-2011 at 07:35 AM by whitneywalters

Christmas is just right around the corner, time to get crafty with the kids. My kids and I have three crafts picked out this year that we plan to make.

Gumdrop tree

  1. Cover your Styrofoam with foil.
  2. The toothpicks used in this project should be the more sturdy ones with a point on each end.  These are often called party picks.  Cut the toothpicks in half.  If your toothpicks are splintering when you cut them, you can try using whole toothpicks but be careful that the points don’t stick out of the gumdrop.  I found it easier to work with shorter toothpicks.
  3. Put the cut end of the toothpick into the flat side of a gumdrop then push the pointy end of the toothpick into the Styrofoam cone going right through the foil.  When attaching the gumdrops to the tree form (Styrofoam cone), start at the wider end of the cone and work your way around and up the cone.  Place gumdrops as close together as possible.

You may need a full toothpick to attach the final gumdrop on top of the tree.

All I Want for Christmas

Posted 12-17-2011 at 06:35 AM by Krista

I start my Christmas shopping with the after Christmas sales. My husband used to wait until Christmas Eve to do his. Over time, however, he has come to dislike the crowds and the rush. We don’t even like to go out of the house forty-eight hours before Christmas, if we can help it. It is just that crazy. J is trying to do his shopping now, but is finding it difficult because I don’t want anything. Even though I am a gift person (it’s my love language) I do not have an endless list of wants.

This year in particular I am having trouble. My mother-in-law took me out of town for a shopping spree two weeks ago, and I am still trying to recover. She can shop with a capital S. I came home with everything I’d intended to buy, and so much more. So much more, in fact, that I can’t think of a single thing I want. Except….

Except…grown-up stuff. Like a mixer. Or underwear. I mean, I guess it could be cute underwear, right? Still, no matter what way you dice it, it’s still clothes for Christmas. It slightly bothers me, because I always warned my husband never to give me practical gifts for Christmas. He knows better. I always thought our gift-giving for each other would be sweet and thoughtful and…well, not underwear.

Feeling Blue

Posted 12-16-2011 at 04:44 PM by Krista

I have been really weepy and emotional the last few weeks. For example, while scrapbooking photos of my youngest at the hospital, I cried. I thought about having another baby, and I cried. I wondered if we’d ever have a son, and I cried. Well, you get the picture. On top of the sudden crying, it seems like anything can set me off. Any slight derailing of my plans gets me upset and annoyed. I chalked it all up to hormones.

My youngest is a little over a year, and I recalled reading something at one time about women feeling a sudden onset of hormonal changes at the one-year mark. I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (also called PCOS) which means that my hormones stay imbalanced. Pregnancy and giving birth affects me a bit more than the average woman because of this. My doctor told me that it takes about a year for your body to fully recover from pregnancy—who knew?!—and for your hormones to go back to normal. In my case, this means mine are going crazy! Any time my hormones change it sends me into this moody/crying phase.

My husband will be glad when it’s over, and I will, too. Each woman’s body is different, and it takes some people longer to get back to their “normal” after having a baby. If this describes you, at least you can rest assured that you are not alone!

Staying Connected–How Do You Do It?

Posted 12-16-2011 at 11:00 AM by Krista

I have written before about the challenges of staying connected with your husband. I am really feeling the difficulty of that lately. My husband and I have been married for seven years and have two beautiful girls. Today in particular was a hard day—my youngest is going through the destruction phase, as toddlers are apt to do, and my oldest has been super cranky due to lack of napping.

When my husband came home today he vegged out in front of the TV while I fixed plates of the spaghetti I’d made. I was talking to him about a show I’ve been watching, and he was staring past me to the TV (the real reason we don’t have cable!). I barely got a nod out of him.

It breaks my heart, because he says he isn’t feeling emotionally connected (it could have something to do with the fact that we haven’t had sex in God knows how long. Who has the time?) but I just don’t see him making an effort. I know he has it hard at work, and I often have it hard at home. It just feels like we don’t have time for each other. I have deeper conversations with people through the internet these days.

It’s hard, loving someone and drifting apart even as you see them from day to day. But you have to really get down to the heart of things to stay connected, not have small talk.

So, how do you and your husband do it?