I Miss My Babies

Posted 11-26-2012 at 10:40 AM by ParamedicMama

Here I am, sitting at a computer in Upstate, NY. I’m in my paramedic uniform, ready to go at a moment’s notice, and even though I only have 1.75 hours left until my shift is over, I know that if needed, I will stay indefinitely. I enjoy working. I am thankful that I am able to provide for my family. I am glad for my job.

…but I miss my babies. I’ll have been on duty for 33 hours if I get out on time today. This is the second time this week that I’ve worked overnight and thus not slept. I know that some people are already reading this and thinking about how ridiculous it is that I would work such long hours–but that’s how it is in EMS. We work long hours, may not eat for 12 hours straight, and sometimes we’re lucky to even go to the bathroom! I change my clothes before I go home because I’m concerned that I might have a disease stuck to me that I could pass on to my children. I worry about driving home when I’m tired. I push the guilt of being a working mommy down into the bottom of my belly where I don’t let it surface unless it can be countered by the realization that this won’t be forever. I think to myself, if only I could strap a car seat into an ambulance and take them with me! Because, you see, I like saving lives, but I love my children even more.

Diaper Swapers

My Husband’s Job

Posted 11-23-2012 at 12:23 PM by HollyRay

Every weekday, and some weekends, my husband puts on his uniform and heads to work. When he returns, 10-14 hours later, he usually smells like jet fuel and has some form of grease or dirt on his hands and uniform. This has been our lives for the past four years, I stay home with our ever growing family, and he works for Uncle Sam. It’s a stable job, in so much that we get paid twice a month, but the hours are forever crazy and his schedule is constantly changing and that means our world revolves around his job.

This is the same for MANY people, whether they are military or civilian, often times our lives are dictated by work. Vacations, meals, family time, they all come secondary to our jobs. It makes sense, our jobs pay for the food, the vacations, the house, without a job money is probably non-existent for most of us, so it seems odd that we put so much importance on having a job and very little on actually liking it. My husband isn’t the biggest fan of his job, he enjoys is while deployed, because he does more work and less, um, “busy work”, but he doesn’t want to be deployed all the time. Instead of just quitting when his time is up he wants to train for a job that he will love. Of course I support him in this, not only because I want my husband to be happy, but I know if my husband isn’t happy our family isn’t happy. Yes, I tweaked the age old saying a bit, but let’s face it, it’s true.

My husband goes to work because he likes working (even if he doesn’t like his job), but he goes to a job he doesn’t like because he has a family to support. While I don’t think he would resent us for having to work, there is a certain stress in knowing you must go to

SAD

Posted 11-23-2012 at 10:15 AM by Krista

I have been experiencing Mommy burnout really badly lately. I have slacked off on home school big time, and the household chores. I finally felt like I had gotten everything together for change: a clean house, happy little girls, and then my motivation just slipped away. My husband suggested that it might be SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder.

According to the Mayo Clinic, SAD is described as follows: “a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year. If you’re like most people with seasonal affective disorder, your symptoms start in the fall and may continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.”

That is exactly how I feel: sapped of energy. I feel like I have no motivation, no energy. I know there are plenty of things I need to do, stuff I need to take care of, but I can hardly find the will to care. I feel silly calling a doctor about it, though. I thought maybe I just needed to find some motivation.

One thing that I have found that does help a little is do something for yourself. I love to cook, so I enjoyed playing around with some fresh ingredients today. Also, I took a long, hot bath while watching television on the Ipad. Gotta love Netflix!

Has anyone else gone through this? If so, did you talk to a doctor? What do you do to get through it?

Finding the perfect gift for my husband

Posted 11-23-2012 at 08:32 AM by whitneywalters

Christmas is almost here and I have been doing a lot of shopping already for the kids but I am stuck on what to get my husband. Chris is not really that hard to shop for, he likes a lot of things but I seem to get him the same thing year after year. He makes me a list each year and aside from a few small things, it is the same thing. He asks for new video games, boxers shorts, gift cards to use for his lunch break at work and books. I have been doing pretty much the same thing year after year since we got married in 2005.

We have had a pretty rough year when is comes to money and my husband has made a lot of sacrifices for the family. He always handles it so well, I want to do something really nice for him to show him how much I truly adore him and how thankful the family is for all he has done for us.

There are a few different things he has been wanting but has not bought himself because we needed the money for other things. I know he wants a kayak, I am looking into getting one but I need to see how he would be able to haul it. I think I would have to buy a rack for the car or van so I have some researching to do.

I have managed to squeeze a couple of other ideas out of him, like the Lord of the Rings collection on  blu ray. He recently read my Lord of the Rings books and is hooked on it. He also needs a better tool box, new shoes, pants, a better electric razor and some other random items.

Skipping Christmas

Posted 11-23-2012 at 06:46 AM by Krista

Several years ago I read a book by John Grisham entitled Skipping Christmas. This is the basis of the movie “Christmas with the Cranks.” The idea is that this couple decides to skip the hassle of Christmas for the year, which means no Christmas cards, no tree, no giving to holiday functions. Nothing. The people of their town put a lot of pressure on them, and it has a hilarious plot twist.

I have known people to actually do this: to skip Christmas, and go on a cruise instead. They are thinking of doing it again this year since they enjoyed it so much last year. I have to admit that as much as I love Christmas the idea has vast appeal. After all, while Christmas shopping can be fun it is taxing, too. There can be a lot of pressure to find the “right” gift not to mention fighting the crowds. There’s also decorating, and attending Christmas parties. While this is supposed to be a fun, festive time of year it often can be exhausting. I know part of me is very relieved when January rolls around.

Just like in the book, people like to put you under a guilt trip whenever you do something unconventional. I get enough guilt thrown my way when we don’t visit with each family for Christmas every year, I cannot imagine telling both sides we wouldn’t be coming to see them! Christmas is supposed to be family time, and so people expect you to go out of your way to see them. It goes without saying that this holiday has become over-commercialized, thus the appeal of skipping it! Maybe one year I’ll try it just to see how it feels! If I can gather the courage, that is!

Oh I love thrift stores

Posted 11-22-2012 at 12:35 PM by whitneywalters

It is always great to find a really amazing item at a thrift store. My husband and I both enjoy going to different second stores to see what awesome things we can find. Chris and I were clothes shopping for the kids and since we really only needed a couple of items we decided to check some thrift stores first.

The first place we went to we managed to get some really nice stuff for very little money. Our youngest daughter needed a coat for the fall and winter. We managed to find an adorable high end jacket for only ten dollars! The coat looks like it was never even worn and it so cute on her. We also scored a really cute fall set for our oldest daughter to wear for her fall pictures and it was only five dollars, I found a nice pair of blue jeans for me that still had tags on them for only ten dollars and my husband found a couple of nice shirts for three dollars a piece. I would say we made out pretty well.

My oldest daughter was also in need of some more winter clothes. She likes to wear dresses most of the time so when I needed to go to goodwill to drop some stuff off, I decided to look through the dresses they had. I found some really cute dresses and only spent a few dollars on them. We are planning to go to a bigger city that is close to us soon to look at a few more places. She still needed a few shirts and I would love to find a couple more dresses for her.

Things I Learn from Television

Posted 11-22-2012 at 09:55 AM by HollyRay

Often times we hear, read, and discuss the great downfalls of television. How we all spend too much time in front of it, mindless drones to the flashing images forever ruining us and our children. In my mind moderation in all things is key, there can always be too much of anything, but lately I’ve been wondering if we give TV a bad rap. Let’s say you sit down to watch a program, you choose the program right? Of course you do! If you choose an empty show to watch you probably won’t get much from it, sometimes that’s exactly what we need, to be lost in entertainment. Other times television can be a useful tool to further ourselves and our lives.

I love PBS, TLC, HGTV, Discovery, Animal Planet, History Channel…you get the jist. Last week while watching Animal Planet I learned about frequency healing, I’ve spent several hours since reading about it and I’m absolutely fascinated. This weekend while watching HGTV I was inspired by a project I saw and took the time to remake it for my home. This is pretty common for both me and my children, we see something on TV and we RUN with that little idea, we learn from it, we explore our world based on thoughts sparked by Curious George, Pawn Stars, and other shows we watch.

For me, TV is just another tool, just like reading. People read everyday, some people read empty words, others read words that inspire and ignite passion. Reading can be just as empty as TV, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stand against the things others have written and say that they are worthless. You are reading this blog, sure I’m no classic writer, my words will probably not be read by the generations, does that make my writing worthless? No, because every time I write I hope that someone reads it and my words spark something, anything, within the reader. Then when I read that my words have touched someone’s life I know that while some people look down their noses and say the internet is a waste of time, for someone that waste of time had a positive impact of their lives.

Speech Success

Posted 11-22-2012 at 06:45 AM by Krista

I have written a few times about my daughters both having speech problems. When I was young and naïve—and childless!!—I often saw people with such problems and assumed that it was the mother’s fault. If she only talked to her children more, I reasoned, she wouldn’t have a child struggling with language. Maybe that is the case sometimes but more often than not these kind of assumptions are WRONG. How do I know? Because anyone who knows me knows I am a big talker, and huge on communication. My husband often comments that I talk issues “to death.”

I have always, always been talking to my kids since they entered the world. I would window shop with my one-month old, asking how she liked this dress or that purse. I often got weird looks, let me tell you. I would—and still do—randomly tell my girls about stories that come to mind. And I still read to them quite a bit.

I always excelled at English. In high school I got awards for it, in college I scored a perfect score in it on the ACT and was passed through English courses without having to take them. Again, I thought I had everything in took to prevent my kids from struggling in at least that one subject. But both of my girls have speech problems. Alison, my oldest, struggles with enunciation and Khalen just rarely talks.

I said all of this to explain why I am so excited about a telephone conversation I had with my daughter today:

Night Owl

Posted 11-21-2012 at 03:12 PM by HollyRay

I have always been a night owl, as long as I can remember I have gone to bed late and woken up early. I think it is due in part to the many late nights at the theater. Even as a younger kid rehearsals ran late, 30 minute drive home, followed by a 1-2 hour wind down time before anyone would actually get into bed.  This continued well into college when I would leave the theater at 11 pm and head to a restaurant to meet other stage managers and unwind from work. No longer a stage manager I often find myself up late, just because.

When I became a mom for the first time I figured my life would change to early bedtimes, but that didn’t happen. For all my trying my new baby girl did not go to sleep until 10:30 at night. I tried everything under the sun to make sure she had an 8:30 bedtime, shorter naps, longer naps, waking early, dropping a nap, you name it I tried it. Finally I realized I was causing more chaos then needed and I just put her to sleep when she seemed tired. Between 10 and 10:30 every night she would be ready for bed and fall asleep quickly. When she started to walk around 9 months she would bring me her pajamas when she was ready to sleep, and when she was around 18 months she would come get me and tell me she was sleepy tired and ready for bed.

Since then I have had two more children, an early to bed and another night owl. My middle daughter always wanted to be in bed by 8:30, and my youngest likes to go down around 9:30. Needless to say bedtimes here vary, even last night as I walked to my room at 11:30 I peeked into the girls room where my oldest (4) and middle (2) sleep. While my toddler was fast asleep my oldest was just laying on the bed quietly talking to herself. She had been laying there for well over an hour, while the toddler had been asleep for nearly two.

“Need anything hun?”

Not Your Average Cranberry Sauce

Posted 11-21-2012 at 02:56 PM by HollyRay

With the holiday season upon us, many are dusting off the cookbooks and making extra trips to the store in an effort to prepare meals that will cause the dinning table to bow under the weight and our diners to bow down in awe of our epic food preparation. For all the hustle and bustle that is this time there is one thing that continually goes unnoticed: the cranberry sauce. That isn’t to say the sauce isn’t present, but with everything so special and extravagant about the meal don’t you think the cranberries deserve more then to be popped out for a can? As silly as it may seem an excellent cranberry dish can really make a meal flourish. This year I wanted to break out of the cranberry sauce box and make something really exciting and I found that in a cranberry apple relish. It is really very simple to make and the complexity of it will go well with nearly any holiday meal you plan.

Cranberry Apple Relish

1 cup cranberries

2 apples

1/4 cup walnuts

3 Tbsp water

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup brown sugar