Posted 07-31-2013 at 01:17 PM by whitneywalters

I had recently written about how hard it was to wait for another baby. With our plan all in place, we would be waiting for two years before we decided on a fifth child. Well, you know what they say about telling God your plans?

I had not been feeling overly great for a couple days, just over tired and not normal. It was getting close to my cycle time so I figured it was just that. Well on the day my cycle was suppose to start, nothing happened. I thought about waiting a couple more days before I worried to much but I needed to go to the store anyway so I grabbed a test.

I told myself I was being silly, there was no way that it would come up positive. Right away I noticed a faint line, I was shocked. I had bought a two test packet and planned one using it in the morning, I caved and used it a couple hours later. Another faint line came up. After I got the kids in bed, I ran back out to the store. I needed to grab a couple things I forgot anyway, so it was a good excuse to grab a different test, I grabbed a digital for morning as well. I took the test when I got home and it came up clearly positive. There was no denying it, I was pregnant.

I debated on telling my husband right away or waiting a bit. I finally decided to get a sleeper out that we had used for all the kids and wrap the test in it. I called him into our room and handed it to him. He was speechless. We were not expecting this in the least.

Diaper Swapers

The Ties That Bind

Posted 07-30-2013 at 03:52 PM by Krista

My best friend finally got married on Saturday, after months of planning. She can be a very last minute person, and much of the wedding preparations were done the night before. I was up until three in the morning folding programs, making flower girl baskets and headbands. Fun times. The church was huge, and after all that running around, I hurt in places I forgot I could hurt. It was so good to see how happy she was, though. I admit to crying as they exchanged their vows.

There was one bit of drama. It’s a wedding, so of course there would be, right? As it turns out, the father of the groom was opposed to the marriage. Not in the beginning, but closer in the beginning. Doug, the groom, is one of four sons from a staunchly Roman Catholic family. The church that Doug and my friend now attend is an episcopal church. To me, I think it’s about the same, or at least close enough, but he strongly disagrees.

It was only shortly before the wedding that Doug informed his dad that rather get a dispensation so that their marriage would be considered valid in the eyes of the Catholic church he intended to leave the Catholic church altogether. This proved to be a huge issue for him, and as such, he didn’t feel he could attend the wedding. I have listened to this discussed over and over, as you can imagine, from my friend as well as her family. People have tried to intervene on the bride’s behalf. Regardless, a resolution was never reached. The father reached out the night before the wedding and they all met to talk. He also came on the wedding day, seeking an apology of some kind, and left when it was not given.

When They Play Nice

Posted 07-29-2013 at 12:43 PM by whitneywalters

I think any mom, with young kids that are close in age will understand the utter joy you feel when the kids play nicely together. Every time I catch them being sweet to each other, I grab the camera. I want to capture those moments so I can show them later and say, ” See, you do love each other!”

My oldest two children are fifteen months apart. I knew the moment I found out I was pregnant again that those two would fight a lot but I also knew they would be each other’s best friend. When Destiny first came home Alex was not so thrilled with this tiny creature that was invading his space and taking his mommy. As time went on, he grew to adore her, once she started becoming more mobile and taking his toys, he was once again not so thrilled with her. He is seven and she is almost six now, they still fight a lot but they can also be very sweet to each other. Alex plays Barbies with her and she will turn play Power Rangers with him, he has painted her nails and she learned to play a video game that needed two players. There are days they are inseparable, followed by days that they want nothing to do with each other. I know those two adore each other and those times I see them being sweet to each other, really melts my heart.

We added a third child to the mix when our second was just under two. Alex and Destiny both adored her from the start. They never really had any fighting issues until just recently and that is because Kairi is going through a super defiant stage. Destiny was more than happy to share with her baby sister and acted like a little mommy to her.

Regaining My Sanity

Posted 07-24-2013 at 12:28 PM by whitneywalters

I had one of those days. You know what I mean, the day that just does not seem to get better. The day that seems to last forever and by the time the kids are finally asleep, your nerves are fried and all your sanity is gone. Yes, I had one of those days.

It started fairly normal, my two oldest had stayed the night with Grandma so it was just the little girls and I. They woke up and wanted breakfast, we watched a couple cartoons together and just about the time I wanted to start getting some house work done, it all went down hill.

Amelia had been being very cuddly. I was hoping it was just because she was still tired but I was so wrong. She was snuggling on my lap and suddenly threw up all over me. She started screaming about the mess ( in her two her old talk that is ) and wanted in the bath. I got her in the bath, stripped out of my clothes ( which were new clothes by the way ), put other  clothes on and was about to get her out when she had diarrhea attack, in the bath. I pulled her out of the gross water, rushed her to the kitchen sink, scrubbed her off, got her dressed and then went to clean the bathtub. I ended up bleaching the tub,  all the bath toys and then running the shower on the hottest water for a good long time.

That was the end of her stomach troubles but she was cranky the rest of the day, wanted on me at all times, did not like me doing any house work and trying to fold laundry with a two year old climbing all over you is not fun at all. The only time she was happy to play in her room, she found a marker that was under the crib ( no idea why ) and drew all over herself, leading to another bath for her.

While I was bathing her, Kairi ( who is 3 ), started throwing a major fit because she cannot hop like a sparrow. I had no idea where this was coming from or why this was such a big problem. I finally figured out it was part of a song on a cartoon she was watching while I bathed Amelia. I am still not sure why this was so devastating but her fit lasted a long time, nothing I did made it better. Eventually, she was fine and moved on to playing with toys.

Birthday Shopping

Posted 07-22-2013 at 03:49 PM by whitneywalters

I am finding that it is a lot easier to shop for my son than it is for my daughters. I really thought it would be the other way around but I never seem to stress over what to get for Alex. Shopping for him just seems really easy. The girls on the other hand, I stress every year on what to get them for their birthday.

My girls are really not picky either, they love getting presents and are always grateful for what they are given. It just seems like the selection for little girls is a lot smaller then the selection for boys. When it comes to shopping for Alex, there always seems to be a new action figure that he likes or a video game that he has been begging for.

My girls are a lot harder. I think part of it is the fact that I have three girls and only one boy. The girls all seem to like the same thing so we have a lot of those things. Alex is always getting interested in something new and the girls really are not. My three girls really love three things, baby dolls, sandbox toys and Barbies. They have other toys but these are the three things they like the most and we have a lot of these things because of it.

It makes birthday shopping harder. I know they would always like another one of those things but it seems pointless. Would they really play with another baby or would it just get lost in the shuffle? The sandbox can only hold so many toys and our Barbie tote is overflowing. The logical answer is just to get something else. The only problem is, what do I get?

My three girls birthdays all fall within a short period of each other. Amelia is June 25th, Kairi is July 9th and Destiny is August 4th. I like to get their presents pretty far in advance so I know it is taken care of but that has not been happening this year. Chris and I could not pick something for Amelia’s birthday. We looked at several different stores over a period of a couple months before we finally decided on a trike. I actually ended up finding one that was like new on craigslist and bought it just a couple weeks before her birthday.

Lacking Respect?

Posted 07-22-2013 at 12:52 PM by whitneywalters

My three year old daughter had a dentist appointment, Chris took her and I stayed with the other three kids. We used this time to go to one of the bigger parks in town. We do not go to that park because it is big and I can not keep track of Kairi and Amelia at the same time. Since I would only have to follow Amelia ( Alex and Destiny know to stay where I can see them ), I knew I could handle the big park this time.

This park was built when I was young, the whole community chipped in and spent a long time building it. It was an extremely nice place to play when I was young. There was always the occasionally “writing” on the wood but it was always taken care of quickly once reported.

Now there is a lot of “writing” and it is not something you would want a child that can read to see. Alex is learning to read and I am lucky he did not notice any of it this time. Sadly, I do not plan on going back to that park. We will be sticking with the one we usually go to or going to one  in another town. ( There are two nice parks in towns close to us, one in the town close to my parents place and the other is in the town where a good friend of mine lives ).

The one we spend the most time at is very well taken care of, always clean, the grass is always cut and it is overall a nice little park. It is smaller so I am easily able to watch all the kids while they play. The bigger park not only had a lot of graffiti but there was also trash all over. Even though there were several trash cans, people apparently were to lazy to walk over and just left their trash wherever they were standing.

Benefits of Cloth Diapers

Posted 07-19-2013 at 12:45 PM by whitneywalters

One of the biggest reasons that my family made the switch to cloth was the health benefits. My oldest daughter has very sensitive skin, it was ever worse when she was a baby. She reacted to ever diaper we tried, she could tolerate Luvs but those even gave her rashes. We tried and tried for almost six months before we just made the switch to cloth. There are many other reasons why we switched to cloth and  I have never regretted our decision.

1. Better on baby’s delicate skin
– I know that my daughter is not the only child to react badly to a disposable diaper. Cloth means keeping chemicals like Dioxins ( highly toxic, known to cause reproductive and devolpmental problems, cause cancer and damage the immune system. ), Tributyl-tin ( toxic, can be absorbed  through skin and is known to hurt your immune system), sodium polyacrylate ( this is what makes disposable diapers so absorbent but it is a known skin irritant it can strip skin of all natural oils, leading to rashes ) and many other chemicals off your babies delicate skin.
–  One of the biggest causes of diaper rashes is excessive moisture against the babies skin. Just because a disposable can hold enough liquid to go many hours between changes, does not mean you should. Even though the diaper is made to absorb more liquid then a cloth diaper, your child is still sitting in their waste which is very unhealthy. A baby should be changed as soon as a diaper is soiled. Cloth diapering  usually means more changes because parents know when a child is wet and do not want to let their child sit in a soiled diaper.

Getting Ready To Sell

Posted 07-19-2013 at 12:29 PM by whitneywalters

My husband and I want to get our house on the market by this Fall. We are wanting to move a town over. He works in that town now and it would be nice to be closer to his job. We had a plan all set in motion to get things done around the house and for the first week, it was all going great. After that, it all seemed to fall apart and now I am so far behind, I feel like I am never going to be ready on time.

We sat down together and made a list of all the projects we needed to get done before we could even think about listing the house. The list ended up being pretty long but some of those projects were easy to do and would not take a lot of time. Then we went through the list and assigned each duty. Most of the outside work was going to be done by Chris and most of the inside work was going to be done by me.

Most of the inside work was organizing and de-cluttering. We know we need to maximize the space in every room to make it look more appealing to a buyer. We are going through everything, getting rid of what we do not need, packing away things we want but do not use at this time ( the plan is to rent a small storage unit ) and then reorganizing everything else.

I started on the nursery since it was the smallest room and would take the least amount of time. I went through all of Amelia’s toys, donated some that she did not play with anymore and gave some to my sister that I knew my nephew would like. Then I went through all her clothes, shoes and diapers. Any clothes that did not fit got put into a tote to send to a resale shop, I donated a few things as well and gave a small sack away. I got rid of a few diapers and woolies that we were not using anymore as well. Then I put everything back away in a very neat manner. It only took a couple hours to get done and the room looked great.

Unfortunately, that is the only room I have been able to finish.

Hands on Mom

Posted 07-18-2013 at 11:25 AM by whitneywalters

I am a very hands on type of mom. If my kids need help learning something at a park, I am right there to help them learn. I get involved in  their art projects, play games and do a lot of other things to spend quality time with my kids. I am sure that some people would call me a helicopter mom but I am perfectly okay with that. I like being involved with the kids activities when we are out. We play tag together, swing with them and play with them. If they want to try something new but do not have the confidence to do it alone, I help them. I know a lot of people are hands off and want their kids to figure things out on their own when it comes to the park. This is just not how I parent.

When Alex wanted to go down the fire mans pole but was afraid, I helped him. At first he wanted my hands on him, not long after that he just wanted me to stand there in case he needed me and now he is going down it with ease. Having Mom close by gave him the confidence he needed to be able to go down on his own. He loves doing it now and does it several times while we are at the park. He always has a huge smile on his face and wants me to watch him.

Destiny has been wanting to learn the monkey bars. She is just a little bit to short to reach the bars on her own so I help her across. I hold her up and she pulls herself across. I am thinking once she grows the couple inches and is able to reach the bars, she will be swinging across them all on her own. She also had a fear of climbing high on the jungle gym. She wouldn’t even make it half way before she would get scared and want help. It took some coaching and having me right there with a hand on her before she made it over the top and down the other side.

Packing – Traveling With Kids

Posted 07-18-2013 at 10:40 AM by whitneywalters

Packing for a trip seems like a pretty easy task. Make a list, put everything in your suit case and you are good, right? Unfortunately, when you have four little helpers, it is not easy in the least. Amelia and Kairi like to sit in the suitcases while I am packing. They also want to add things or take out other things.

I used to make a list, cross things off as I put them in the right bag and double check before I zip the bag up. This usually made things easier but lately it seems like doing any of the above is impossible.

Alex and Destiny want to “pack” their own bag. I let them since they are trying to show responsibility but that doubles my work since I have to check what they pack. I usually have to redo some of their packing job ( Like when Alex packs shorts in the middle of winter or long sleeves when it will be 100 degrees out ). Destiny is pretty good about picking out the right clothes for the weather but she likes to over pack. She wants to bring extra dresses, her reasoning, she never knows when she might need a fancy dress, so it is better to bring extra. After some negotiating, we are able to get her bag down to a reasonable size.

I do all the packing for myself, the two youngest kids and do most of the packing for my husband. It is not that he is not able, I just like to do it since he works and I stay home. It just means one less thing for him to have to do before we leave.