Friday, July 28, 2006

Catharsis on toddlerhood- help #1

I love that Choosing Home website. Was reading this today and was encouraged. The part about coping with a "bad past" didn't really apply but parts 1 and 3 did.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Catharsis on toddlerhood

I LOVE babies. Their sweet smiles and coos... the smell of their skin. I love nursing. I love how they can be calmed in an instant when brought to my breast. I love watching their eyes roll to the back of their heads when nursing because they feel so comfortable and protected. I love how they melt in my arms and look me in the eye with overflowing love and adoration. Even the late night feedings and diaper changes are alright because they are SO precious and cute.


They grow up and become... TODDLERS.

Why do they need to grow up? Why can't they simply stay as babies? -deep sigh-

Every moment from the second their little feet touch the floor until their eyes close with sleep... I struggle with mothering. This has been going on now for about two or so weeks. Usually the anarchy comes in spurts but as of lately, it's been a constant. It doesn't seem to have anything to do with Cassandra. Maybe it's me. I don't know. All I do know is that I'm struggling to even get out of bed in the AM as of late because I dread the day ahead and all the chaos that it will entail. The kids are wonderful in public... but absolute hellions at home.

The things that are constant: bickering, fighting, hitting, stealing, yelling, no... SCREAMING, breaking, disrespecting, talking back, not listening, etc. ALL DAY LONG. I know this is par for the course in raising young ones... and I don't necessarily even care as long as this sort of behavior is sporatic. But it is CONSTANT! And this momma is growing weary... really weary.

What makes it even more difficult is that ANYthing I do for "fun" or to treat the kids ends up blowing up in my face.

Say I want them to color. This is what happens: they eat the crayons, they color on the table, they drop all their crayons on the floor, they color on the floor, they give crayons to Cassandra, they color on their arms or faces, they steal crayons from each other and break out into a fight...

Say I want to take them outside. This is what happens: they eat rocks, they hit each other with sticks, they steal toys, they go into the garage and move Grandpa's stuff, they sidewalk chalk everything they can touch, they scrape rocks and sticks down the sides of the cars, they push and hit each other until a fight breaks out...

Say I want to treat them and take them to the library. This is what happens: they pull books out and leave them wherever, they pester the librarian over and over and over again for Dum Dum suckers, they fight over books/toys, they run around like hooligans, they scream at each other and steal books/toys...

-deep sigh-

It's not like this all the time. Like I said, these occurances are usually sporatic and so, are easy to control and discipline for. But for some reason, as of late, they've been pulling out all the shots. I'm weary. It sounds awful to say this, but right now I don't even like my kids... I don't want to even be around them.

I know this is a phase and in a little while they'll go right back to their little "angelic" selves (ha!), but right now while I'm in the midst of this trial, I'd really appreciate some prayer.

Pray that I would enjoy this stage of their development, that I would rejoice in all things rather than being caught up in their childishness. Pray that I'd be able to see clearly the difference between wrong behavior/foolishness (that needs to be punished) and simple childishness (that requires training). Pray that I would die to self. Pray that I would be patient, slow to anger, gentle, and self-controlled but also firm with boundaries and rules.

I'll keep you updated on how my kids are behaving.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

New kid pics

New kid pics available on the D. Family blog. Check them out!

Home canned grape jelly

If you like home canned grape jelly but don't have a lot of spare time on your hands, you SO have to try this recipe. My husband who isn't a big fan of grape jelly even gave a thumbs-up on this one.

Yields: 5 pints

6-1/2 cups sugar
2-1/2 cups water
2 pouches liquid pectin
3 (6 oz) cans (2-1/4 cups) frozen concentrate 100% grape juice (thawed)

Prepare water bath for lids; clean jars. Bring water and sugar to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute (still stirring constantly). Turn off heat. Add pectin and grape juice. Stir thoroughly. Ladel into jars. Put lids on and set jars upside down to cool.

Super easy. Super yummy!
I especially like this recipe because you can make a batch any time of the year.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Gained too much weight during pregnancy?...

Was talking with my sister's sis-in-law yesterday and we got to talking about gaining too much weight during pregnancy. She gained over 50 pounds during some of her pregnancies! Her OB/GYN went to a conference and they have discovered why so many women gain WAY too much weight... cause: lack of protein. For some reason, some pregnant women either don't process the protein they eat correctly or they don't get enough. During the last two months of her pregnancy, he had her drink (1) protein shake per day. No major changes in diet... no recommendation to exercise. Simply drink (1) protein shake a day. Instead of gaining 3-4lbs. a week, she only gained 3/4lb. per TWO WEEKS! Wow! Wish I would have known about that during my pregnancies.

If you're pregnant, you should maybe consider drinking a protein shake just to see if it helps regulate your weight gain. Get WHEY protein. You can get huge tubs of it at Wal-Mart and they actually taste pretty good (if mixed with milk). Try and see if it helps!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Cassandra- 2 months old!

Cassandra turned 2 months old on (Thurs.) July 20th. She is SUCH a joy to our family! She's now able to hold her head up really well, smiles a lot, is laughing out loud and has adjusted to a day/night routine. We were blessed with another great sleeper. She "tanks up" on milk from about 7pm-10pm and then sleeps until about 5:30am. She's getting to be so regular with her sleep routine that we've been using her as an alarm clock lately. :-) After her "first" breakfast, she goes right back to bed until about 9am when she's ready to start her day and eat her "second" breakfast. (I call her a little Hobbitt because she eats so much.) Cassandra's packing on the weight and getting really long. The midwife is coming this next week for the last post-partum appointment and so we'll have her official weight and measurements then. We are so thankful that God blessed us with bringing her into our lives.

Recent humorous pics of Cassandra

Here's Cassandra as my "BUNCO kitty". This past Wednesday when I met with
my monthly BUNCO gaming ladies, I brought along Cassandra.
While playing, the Hostess's daughter, Julie B., came home
from our church's Circus booth downtown (yes folks, it's Circus time!).
She had been involved with face painting. We conned her
into painting Cassandra's face.
Isn't she cute?!

This gives new meaning to the saying: "deer in headlights".

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

New Habit

RD and I have been really thinking a lot about healthy living lately. One of the major new habits that we've incorporated into our family is making LUNCH the main meal of the day. Our "supper" now is the lightest meal of the day consisting of salads or leftovers and is low-carb/dessert-free. IF we eat a dessert (which we're trying to cut back on- they're now "special treats") and if we're going to consume carbs, it's during the lunch hour when our metabolism is still high. It's been working wonderfully for our family. Here are some of the benefits:

1) Since supper is light, our bodies can quickly digest it and it won't turn to fat overnight and show up on our backsides.

2) In one week, I lost 4 lbs!!!

3) Since we eat carbs/dessert at a time during the day when our metabolisms are high, it actually has a chance to get digested and burned off.

4) By 4pm, I am tired and stressed out from raising my two toddlers and newborn. I don't WANT to have to deal with big supper plans/clean-up. Now, that food stress is in the late AM, I have the energy and motivation to do it, and do it well.

5) Now that supper is quick and easy, once the kids get up from their nap we play right up until daddy gets home. That, and since supper clean-up is quick and easy too, we get more time together in the PM as a family.

6) During the kids' nap time, I'm no longer prepping for dinner. Since the big meal is over and done with I can now do chores, snuggle and nurse with my baby, take a nap, play on the computer, etc.. Naptime is me-time now... a chance to relax and unwind.

This won't work for every family, but it may if your hubby can make it home for lunch during the day. We are really liking our new habit.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Encouraging post

I periodically check out a website called Laines Letters. She's so down to earth and Christ-centered in her approach to life. A lot of her posts are about being a wife, parenting, homemaking, etc. I found this post quite encouraging this AM. Thought I would share it with you ladies. It's all about working "in the Lord". Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Recent family pics

Me and my sweet baby girl, Cassandra
Grandma E. and Benjamin

My cutie-pie, Arianna

Grandpa E. and Benjamin... he put my
sunglasses on all by himself...
albeit upside-down. :-)

Swimming on a hot summer's day

Monday, July 10, 2006

Another chance

Hey, if any of you ladies are interested in signing up again to win a free Hotsling, here's your chance. Another raffle is going on between July 10th and August 31st. Here's the link.

Portraits of the D. Family

Here's the D. family from a three year old's perspective. I think Arianna did a great job!

This is Arianna:

This is Benjamin:

This is mommy:

This is daddy:

This is Cassandra:

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Chocolate Snack Cake

This is a tried and true recipe that has long been used in my side of the family. I am now making it available for you ladies to try. Very easy, fast, and YUMMY!

*I especially like to use this recipe if I happen to run out of eggs and/or milk*

1-2/3 cup flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350F. Mix dry ingredients with fork. Stir in liquid ingredients completely. Place in ungreased 8x8 pan. Cover with chocolate chips. Cook approximately35-40 min. or until toothpick comes clean. (For 9x9 pan, cook 25-30 min.)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Children's Book Review

"Chrysanthemum" by Kevin Henkes. Actually, it's also a favorite of Arianna's, too.

It's about a young mouse who has a very unusual name, but it's "absolutely perfect" according to her mom and dad. Even Chrysanthemum loves her own name, that is, until she starts school. There, her classmates relentlessly tease her and make fun of her name because it's different. Finally, a teacher who is highly admired by the students, Mrs. Twinkle, saves the day by sticking up for Chrysanthemum because she too has a very odd name.

It's a really good book and I highly recommend it. Cute illustrations, interesting characters, repetitive writing syle (good for easy memorization but it's not annoying), good theme on diversity.

PS- I find it very difficult to find really GOOD children's books. It seems that ANY book could be published as a kids book if the text is watered down/simplified and there's illustration of some kind. There's a TON of fluffy, stupid, no-point books out there.

What books do you ladies like reading to your kids? What books have you found to be educational yet fun to read/interesting? What books would you recommend should be avoided?