When mom is sick – part 2

Posted 03-27-2013 at 03:08 PM by whitneywalters

We have a diagnoses and I do have gall stones, multiple gall stones. I will be headed for surgery soon. While the thought of going under the knife does not thrill me, I want this fixed because I am so tired of being in so much pain all the time.

My older two kids have been really understanding about mommy being sick. They want to help me feel better and keep asking what they can do to help me. The doctor gave me some pain killers to help while I wait and they have been making me feel a little out of it, so when I am laying down, all the kids love to lay with me and snuggle. The younger two do not really understand but they still like to snuggle with me.

My husband has pretty much taken over all the house work for me. I do what I can when I am feeling okay. I still do school with the kids and do most of the cooking. Once I have surgery I know Chris is going to have to take over everything for at least a couple days. Since he can not take more than a couple days off work the plan is that if I still need help I will spend the day out at my parents house so mom can help while still being there for her goats ( they just had a bunch of babies, one of which has to be bottle fed ) and then I will come back home when Chris is off work.

Diaper Swapers

Teaching Kids about Money

Posted 03-27-2013 at 03:08 PM by Krista

My four year old seems to be really interested in money lately. Ever since she connected the fact that us running out of things and not having them connects with money, she seems fascinated. Why don’t we always have enough extra cash to do what she wants to do? Who has money, and how do they get it?

It embarrasses my husband a little, because she tends to announce to anyone and everyone that we don’t have any money if I have told her we can’t buy something. (For example, the other day in Hobby Lobby she asked me for something, and when I said I couldn’t buy it because I didn’t have the money—I would have bought it for her if I had the funds at the time—she told a lady who was making a bouquet that she was sorry, but we didn’t have any money to buy her flowers.) I am not embarrassed. I am very interested in teaching my girls about finances early on.

That being the case, I have begun to give my four-year-old an allowance. I think she might be a bit young, but if there is one thing I have learned about with kids, it’s that you capitalize on their interest before it’s gone. So, in the spirit of things, I have given her chores to do. I have her feed the cats and dogs in the morning, and keep dishes out of the living room by putting them in the sink. It’s not much, but if she does those chores every day at the third day I give her a dollar. So, she gets about two dollars a week. Not bad for a four year old.

Sharing clothes

Posted 03-26-2013 at 11:59 AM by whitneywalters

My five year old daughter, Destiny is a little small for her age while my three year old daughter, Kairi is tall for her age. Destiny has always been on the small side, she is just a little peanut. Kairi was born small but grew like a weed from the beginning and has not slowed down at all. Even though there is a two year gap between them, they are almost the same size. Within the next couple months she will be moving out of size fours, into size fives. That means her and Destiny will be wearing the same size clothes.

Destiny and Kairi are very different when it comes to clothing. Destiny likes pink, lace and frilly dresses. She wears a dress most of the time and when she does wear pants she likes bold colors and fancy shirts.

Kairi likes to be casual, she will wear a dress as long as there is no lace or frills involved. She is most comfortable in jeans and a tshirt. She does not have a favorite color but she does like tshirts with her favorite television characters or ice cream cones on them.

Needless to say, their wardrobes are pretty different most of the time. I used to sell Destiny’s old stuff that Kairi would not like and then buy things for Kairi with the money I made. With Kairi moving up a size and Destiny staying in size that same size, I needed to find a way to make both them happy and not buy two full sets of the same size clothing.

Teaching Truthfulness

Posted 03-26-2013 at 11:52 AM by Krista

I don’t know about you, but my oldest daughter is at this stage where she thinks of all kinds of ways to be deceitful.  She’s four years old now, but I remember this starting when she was about two. The first time I noticed it was when I peeked in on her during her nap and saw that she was smiling, trying to pretend that she was asleep. OK, if I’m being honest I have to admit that I thought it was a little cute… sue me.

Now, over two years later, I don’t find it cute. (See, I knew that would come back to bite me!) I find it frustrating, not to mention time consuming. The lies just seem to keep coming, mostly directed towards her two year old sister. Everything she does wrong, she addresses with the line of defense, “Khalen did it.”

I heard the girls squabble earlier this morning, but when I told them to stop they did, so I didn’t investigate further. After handing out breakfast my oldest hands over a box of candy I’d bought yesterday. Her explanation was, “Khalen did it.” I won’t deny that I was pretty ticked. I informed her that I knew that wasn’t true—or she wouldn’t have the box. She insisted that Khalen had taken it, and that’s when I remembered them arguing. So, Khalen did take it, and Ali snatched it from her and then hid it so I wouldn’t find it. The trouble I had was

Shopping for little girls without breaking the bank

Posted 03-26-2013 at 11:50 AM by whitneywalters

I have three daughters and I am sure that everyone knows how fun buying little girls clothes are. I love shopping for my daughters but having a budget can make it not so much fun. Over the years I have found ways that allow me to have fun shopping for all the cute clothes and not spend a fortune doing so.

1. Learn to make stuff yourself.
- One area that I found myself spending a lot of money was on hair bows and headbands. I liked having   a lot so we always had something for every outfit but it started adding up. That is when I decided to learn how to make stuff myself. I liked crafting and making it myself meant I could have a lot more while still staying in my budget. My girls have a lot of hair stuff now, almost all of it made by me, including the bow boards that hold on their stuff.
- I am slowly teaching myself to sew. I love the look of upcyled clothing and that is what I want to learn to make. I started with easy things, like a skirt. My oldest daughter loves the skirts I made her and they were actually pretty easy to put together.
- I also know how to knit.  I love making things for my children. I am slowly learning new things so I can make even more.

Making progress

Posted 03-22-2013 at 08:31 AM by whitneywalters

You may remember that I have posted before that we are dealing with lead in our home. Our three year old daughter was diagnosed with lead poisoning almost a year ago. Since then we have been doing everything in our power to get rid of the lead threat in the house.

We found out during the lead inspection that we have lead in the living room windows, upstairs windows, on a wall in the front porch ( the porch was added later so this wall used to be the front of the house ) and all over the outside of the house. We were told we needed to replace the windows, dry wall the front porch wall and side the house. We knew there was no way we would be able to side the house right now, it is simply not in our budget and there is no help for lead removal in our area.

Instead of siding we are painting, this is only a temporary fix but it is all we can do right now. The outside painting will be finished this spring. My husband has been doing all the work with some help from my father and brother in law. This spring he is going to have a couple guys from church come over and help him finish it up.

We replaced the living room windows last year and we just ordered the windows to do the upstairs.  It  is costing us almost three hundred more then we had budgeted for but at least it is getting done and we can mark it off our list.

Communication Malfunctions

Posted 03-22-2013 at 07:01 AM by Krista

I think most of us would agree that communication is the key to a successful relationship. I don’t think I ever realized how hard it could be before getting married. It’s strange, because once upon a time J and I communicated fine. Better than fine, actually. That’s part of the reason we fell in love. I could hear him out and offer kind, well intentioned advice. Now…

Well, you know how some conversations go. Everything comes out wrong. One of the advantages of marrying young is that you literally get to grow up with your spouse. One of the setbacks is that you change so much through the years, and we definitely have. With it our communication styles have changed, and as a result we often talk and talk but no one hears.

It’s almost comical, sometimes we will talk about a subject twice, and then we think we have reached an understanding. Then one of us will go and do the exact opposite of what our partner thought we’d agreed on. Ever hear the expression sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying? That pretty much covers how I feel about it.

Captivated

Posted 03-20-2013 at 07:40 AM by Krista

I am reading an amazing book right now, entitled Captivated, by Stasi Eldredge. In it, the author discusses how the world pushes women to think that they don’t live up to some imaginary standard where we are either not enough—not pretty enough, thin enough, successful enough. Or we’re told that we’re too much, too hard to handle. Does any of that sound familiar to you?

If so, you’re definitely not alone. I know that I feel insecure a lot, particularly about my parenting. Half the time, I feel like I don’t have a clue what I’m doing, and my oldest is four! Oh, sure, I know how to clean a cut and kiss a boo-boo. I know how to break up fights and find missing shoes. But the rest of it, the important stuff like making sure they’re happy and emotionally well adjusted…I just don’t know if I win in that department.

A friend recently told me that parenting is hard for everyone, regardless of their background. Even those that grow up in good, stable homes, she said. It is reassuring to hear that I am not the only one who struggles with seemingly simple decisions. As each of you knows, not only is parenting such a challenging journey, it is also one where other people judge the decisions that you make.

Then and now – How our breastfeeding relationship has changed

Posted 03-20-2013 at 07:39 AM by whitneywalters

My twenty month daughter is still nursing. This is the longest I have breastfed a child so far. My other three children were weaned at eighteen months. It was partially them and partially me when it came to the weaning.

With my oldest I had tried to wean him before his little sister was born, they are only 15 months apart. He broke his leg shortly before hand and there was no way I was going to try to wean him while he was dealing with that. I ended up nursing him for three months after she was born and then one day he just decided he was done.

My second was not really wanting to wean, I was pregnant at the time and I just did not want to nurse anymore. I started weaning her around sixteen months and by eighteen months she was ready to stop without a fight.  My third was about the same way.

Now that Amelia is older and I am not pregnant, I decided that I am not in a huge hurry to wean her. While I have my days, like when she likes to use my breast as a teething ring, overall I am still happy with our breastfeeding relationship.

Amelia has been very attached to nursing since birth. She seemed to nurse around the clock for the first couple months of her life. Of course she would nurse because she was hungry but also when ever she was hurt, scared or upset by something. When she was teething she nursed all the time. She got RSV when she was a tiny baby and again she nursed all the time. It has gotten a little better now that she is older but she is still very attached to nursing. She still nurses several times a day, I am wanting to cut it back a little just to make it easier when I do decide to wean.

She started sleeping through most nights when she was only a few months old. Now that she is going on two, she will still wake on occasion and want to nurse in the middle of the night. That is one thing I am trying to break her of. We are cosleepers when the kids are babies, she starts the night off in her crib now but if she wakes, I take her to bed with me. This happens a couple times a week ( while her three year old sister still climbs into our bed every night ). Now Amelia wakes up I try offering a sippy cup to her and take her into my bed. Sometimes this works, sometimes it does not. I am hoping with a little bit more time she will either stop waking up in the middle of the night or will take the sippy every time.

She has also started falling asleep by being rocked by my husband. This is a new thing. When she was little daddy was good for play time but she did not want to fall asleep on him. She always wanted to nurse to sleep. Now she is happy a lot of time to lay in his lap with a sippy and go to bed.

Bump Envy

Posted 03-18-2013 at 12:12 PM by Krista

This morning I had a test involving contrast dye, x-rays, and although I can’t remember the name of it, I do recall that it was to see if my tubes are blocked, and it hurt like crazy. It was only forty-five seconds, but that is a whole lot of crazy when the cramps are that intense. Anyway, as it turns out, my tubes aren’t blocked.

I know, I know. This sounds like good news, and really, I guess it is. The truth is, I was kind of hoping they would find something. There is nothing worse than not knowing why you can’t get pregnant. If I could only know why. Even if the verdict was that I could never, ever have another child, at least I could mourn and focus that energy elsewhere. Instead, I get to mourn every month. Each cycle that rolls around, try as hard as I might, I still hope. And then, when that pregnancy tests reads negative, the cycle of grief starts all over again.

Of course, whenever you are trying to get pregnant it seems like everyone you know is. In fact, just today a friend of mine who was just pregnant a few months ago is pregnant again. I am feeling the dreaded bump envy. I have a circle of friends, and we are all trying to get pregnant. I hate to admit it, but as time goes on I speak to each of them less and less. Yes, they get it, but when they get pregnant, and I’m still not, I’m not sure I will know how to handle that. Each time I get the good news from someone, I want to be happy for them, and eventually I am, but it’s not my first reaction. I’m not proud of that.