Thursday, September 30, 2010

Last Thought of the Night

I sat down tonight and spent some time with my Father, my Heavenly Father that is.  And it was so refreshing to my spirit.  It has been over a week since I actually took the time to spend more than 2 minutes praying, and I am ashamed to admit that.  I hate the fact that I know how much I depend on God, I know how much I need Him, I know that my life falls into chaos and stress when I don't rely on Him, yet still, still I try to do it on my own.  I am thankful that He doesn't walk out the door when I don't show up for days.  He is still there, waiting paitiently. 

What I Have (or Don't Have) to Show for the Month

*Quick Update on Abby:  She is fine.  The whole "dental surgery" went well and she now has a mouth full of silvery fillings.  Ah, welcome to my life babe.  We were in the hospital a total of 4 hours, about half of that spent in recovery.  She wasn't even groggy yesterday, just had a little nap around 4. So thanks for anyone who prayed, I know my family was.*

It is the last day of September, and I am looking back over what I have done preschool-wise with Abby.  Let me tell you, it is a pitiful offering to the school gods.  The only week's 'studies' that I finished completely, was A (along with all the other activities that went along with it like Bible crafts, numbers, etc.).  I only got about another half a week done.  So to sum it up, we only did a week and a half of work.  Though I'm not sure if I can even call it work!   We just do some crafts and worksheets and other stuff.  Sit down time maybe totallying one hour a day if I'm lucky.

Even on the days that I got all the activities done that I wanted to, I felt like it wasn't enough.  Is this going to be enough to get her to the point that she needs to be?  Who am I to know?  On the other hand, why am I stressing so much over this?!?  It's preschool, not high school math or anything.  Maybe I just need to chill out.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I Hope I Don't Forget to Brush her Teeth in the Morning

For anyone out there listening, please pray for me and my daughter, Abby.  Tomorrow I am taking her to the hospital to have her cavities filled.  Originally the appointment wasn't until November, but one of the people who was scheduled for this day is out of the country for a couple months, so we got bumped up last minute. 

We have to be at the hospital by 7 tomorrow morning, and I'm not sure how long we will be there.  My hubs has the day off, thankfully, so he will be home to watch Leigh.  I do have a friend who is willing to watch my girls anytime for me, but Leigh has been very fussy anytime she gets dropped off there, so I thought it would be best to just have her at home.  Plus then he will be at home with me in case I need extra help with Abby.

The doctor will put Abby to sleep with the gas mask first, and then insert the IV.  I am allowed to be in the room for this part.  I am a little nervous because the doctor said that even though she is asleep after the mask and will remember nothing, she might squirm and cry out a little.  That thought clenches my heart.  And the doctor also told me that she put in a tube to help with the breathing.  That thought really clenches my heart.  I don't know if I will actually be able to take seeing that.  My little girl!  With a tube in her throat!  I think they might make me leave the room anyways.

She will wake up in the recovery room, and I will be able to be there when she does wake up.  I am so very thankful that I can be there for her, and I am thankful that this is covered under the Healthy Kids program in our province.  If it weren't for that, I don't know if we would have the money for all the dentist apoointments.  We sure don't have it for us adults.  I am also thankful that it is only for a few cavities that we are going in tomorrow.  I am so blessed that both my girls are healthy.  It could be so much worse.  There are parents out there who have to deal with much bigger problems, like surgery for any number of fatal problems.  Mine is just teeth.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Can It!

I haven't written for the past week because my mom has been down visiting. I love my mom, and I am so thankful that she doesn't ever complain about all the travel she does to come visit us at least a couple times a year. It is a 14 hour drive, but we flew her down here with our airmiles this time. She is such a help to me, always cleaning up, doing the dishes, the laundry, almost everything! She takes the girls for a walk everyday, and always trying to entertain them for me. It is excellent. And I enjoy visiting with her too, though a lot of the time, we just are together in the house, not having depp, in-depth conversations. She will read a book and I will do whatever it is I am doing. (Maybe reading blogs.)

Every fall my mom cans peaches and pears, and this year, she helped me do it. I have never canned before so I was very excited to try. First we went to the fruit stand to buy our fruit, and we decided to only do peaches because the pears were still too hard and we didn't have the time to wait for them to ripen. We only did a 10 lb box. Some were too soft already, and we just used them for pie (which I am baking at this moment). We blanched the peaches to make them easier to peel, but it only worked for some of them. I enjoyed the peeling, even if it was difficult on some of them. We had the syrup boiling beforehand, 14 cups water to 7 cups white sugar. Mom would take our jars as we filled them and pour the syrup in them right away. Once we filled them all and put the caps on we put them in the canning pot, boiling them for 20 minutes.

I actually enjoyed the whole process; it was not as much work as I thought it would be. My mom was obviously there overseeing it, so I don't think I would attempt doing this by myself, but would ask (force) my hubby to help me. He likes to cook and he is the one who likes to eat the peaches. I had borrowed my friend's canning pot, so I think that I will just invest in my own.

Surveying my cans after sealing them, I felt very proud of doing this for the first time. The only down side was that my husband commented that the slices looked small, he was used to seeing canned fruit in quarters. He didn't complain, but I felt like I had disappointed him. Next time I will remember to make the slices much bigger. So maybe next week I will have pears done!

Monday, September 20, 2010


While pregnant with my first daughter I gained about 50 lbs.  (Yikes, that sounds huge!)  After her birth I only dropped down 30 of those pounds (mostly from the initial birthing of her, about 10ish afterwards) before I became pregnant with my second daughter.  I didn't gain as many pounds with Leigh, even though I surpassed my top weight from Abby's pregnancy.  I gained about 30ish lbs.  So all of this has combined to create a scenario in which I am about 30-35 lbs heavier than I was pre-pregnancy. 

So I have been trying to lose weight.  For the last 9 months.  And do you know what my sucess is?  I'm in the negative.  I have gained more weight.  Pathetic.  I had actually come down about 8ish lbs, and was maintaining there, but over the summer I totally gained it all back!  I can't believe it, isn't summer when people are supposed to be the most active?  But I became less active since my activities like Biblestudy and stuff were shut down over the summer, so I didn't have anywhere specific to walk every week, so I just didn't walk as much.  That definately didn't help.  Neither did the fact that I acted like I was on eating vacation, just kept eating without caring.

Throughout this whole time that I have been trying to lose this weight, I haven't done any actual diet programs like Weight Watchers, etc.  I have just tried to limit my portions, not eat sweets and junk, with the occasionaly exercise evening thrown in there.  It obviously hasn't been working.  My friend did this for a month and lost around 15 lbs!  I felt quite upset at my body for not being like that.  But I know that it isn't totally my body's fault.  I haven't stuck with my 'rules' long enough for it to have any effect.

Therefore I have decided that I need to try some kind of 'diet' plan.  I browsed through the Weight Watchers website, and seriously considered signing up for the online plan since I am not always free to go to meetings in the evenings.  But I have a hard time justifying spending $30 a month.  We are not exactly rolling in the dough at the moment.  But it would be worth it if I lost the weight right?

So I looked into the Special K Challenge, and right now I am seriously leaning towards this.  My reasoning is this: I am an admitted picky eater.  I have gotten much better over the years, especially since I married my husband and had to cook things that he would like, but there is still quite a bit that I just don't like.  Most of the food that I would get with a diet service I would probably not like, or not like as much.  So if I'm not going to be able to eat what I want to, I would rather have a strict plan involving specific food items, such as the Special K challenge, with the protein meal bars and drinks and cereal and such. 

I know that I can discipline myself.  I have fasted before, so it is possible.  But it seems almost impossible for me to curb my eating by myself.  I am getting very frustrated and depressed that all my efforts continually fail.  So I am looking for some good plans that will work.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Too Many Choices!

I am printerless.  Just as we are starting Preschool, I am printerless.  Actually, I have been printerless since early spring, but it never mattered until now.  This will teach me to procrastinate.  No, it probably won't teach me.  It's been years, and no matter how many problems I run into because of my procrastination, I keep on putting it off.  Anyways, this is a bunny trail.

I took my printer into a repair shop because my at home fixes didn't work.  They told me that they tried everything, and it is toast.  It would cost more than a new printer to fix my old one.  It is unfortunate that we have to spend the money on this now, but a positive is that we had the old printer given to us by my sister-in-law so we're not really out any money. 

The choices for a new just boggles my mind.  I am officially stumped.  I have been looking at reviews, debating HP vs Lexmark vs Epson vs Canon etc.  I thought about laser vs inkjet, and decided that I would go inkjet.  I was considering the laser because it is cheaper in the long run, but I do use the printer to print off some photos, and the reviews said that the laser didn't do a very good job on printing photos. So at least that is one decision.  Oh, and I know that I want an All-in-One, with a scanner and copier, so that is a second decision.  But there are still so many options. 

I am going to be doing a fair amount of printing, probably around 15 pages a week, maybe a little more.  And as we progress in our homeschooling years, I will be printing more, I think.  So I want something that will stand up to time, and not fall to pieces in a few years.  But I don't want to spend a ton of money initially, though it also is hard for me to buy a cheap printer, and know that in the long run I am spending more money. 

Argh!  I just can't decide!  Help me someone!  Tell me what I should do. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I have been doing a few activites with Abby every day, like I posted here.  She seems to enjoy them, just like any other time we do any colouring stuff.  My printer had been at the computer shop and I just found out that it's toast, so I hadn't been able to print off some worksheets that I wanted to do with her until yesterday when we went to the library. 

I was excited to try them with her.  In my mind, I had hopes of her exceeding what I thought she could do.  She would ace the sheets, following the directions exactly.  But that wasn't how it went.  The first one was a small maze where you had to follow the 'A's to find the end.  Any other letter led you down the wrong path.  I wasn't concerned with her following the path from start to finish, I just wanted her to identify all the 'A's in the picture.  She did get a few, but she also called a B an A, as well as some other letters.

I have to admit that I felt a little disappointment and discouragement.  I felt like she was so horribly behind where she should be.  But then I reminded myself that she is 3 and it is more important to feed her knowledge and information than trying to 'test' her with worksheets.  Because that's essentially what it was like, I tested her and she failed.  So today we did another couple worksheets, first identifying pictures that started with A and then identifying pictures that had the A sound in the middle.  Basically I just talked through it with her.

And I felt good about it.  She knew all the names of the pictures (well, she called an ambulance a truck but that's ok) and I just told her that they started with A, or had the A sound in them.  And I circled them for her.  Then I just let her colour them.  It didn't look as academic as I might have liked, but I think that it is a good step in the right direction.  It is a lesson for me on how this year might look, and I like the feeling that we are starting our journey! 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back in August, we took Abby to have her hearing tested.  We did this because sometimes she is difficult to understand, and though she does have an adequate vocabulary, she doesn't talk as fluently as I think that she maybe should (or as fluently as other 3-year-olds that I see).  So off we went.  I won't write all about the test, but basically the results were that all her 'hardware' was working fine, but her 'behavioural response' was poor.  That means that she should be able to hear us, but she doesn't respond like she is.  They did recommend that I see a speech specialist, though. 

Fast forward to now, I talked a bit to the Public Health nurse awhile ago, and she had sent me some pamphlets on play-based activities to help with speech.  She also sent me some 'tests' to sort of gauge how Abby is doing.  And yesterday I took Abby in to the doctor and the doctor said that she had had a request from the audiologist to refer Abby to the speech pathologist.  I was a little upset about that yesterday, though I know I shouldn't be.  It just seemed like they were rushing forward and I was being forced to take Abby down this path, when the more I think of it, the more I feel like she is just a little slower, and I realize how much she does say.  She does use 3 word sentences, more than I realized once I started paying attention. 

So I just got a letter from the speech pathologist in the mail, and it has a sort of questionaire form for me to fill out and send back.  Once they get the form and go over it, they will call me back.  As I am fillling it out, I can feel myself sinking back down into the "Pit of Horrible Parenting."  I have failed my child.  I should have done so much  more with her, read more, played more, talked more.  Something more!  It all spirals down to the same conclusion that I am a selfish mother who doesn't do enough with my girls because it doesn't come naturally to me to be that 'everyday-teacher' that seems to be all the rage right now.

I don't know where I am going to end this post because it is far from resolved in me.  Yes, I have started doing activities with Abby, so maybe there is hope that I can change.  I know that there is, if I just rely on my Heavenly Father.  But how likely am I to do that?  I know myself, I constantly am taking back the reins of my life from God and saying that I can do it myself.  Pathetic.  But I must allow Him to work in me, if only for the sake of my children.  I want them to have the best.  So I will press on and keep my eyes on what is truly important in this life, God and my family.  And by working towards that goal, I will ultimately help myself be happier.

How's that for a little pep talk to end this?

Monday, September 13, 2010

We Have Begun!

And we're off. Today I did my first "official" homeschool-preschool activity! But the secret? It sure didn't feel like a school activity. This morning Abby and her friend Geeves, who is spending the day with us, decorated a cut-out letter 'A' with stickers.

Writing this down, it doesn't seem as momentous as it did when I actually sat them down and did it. But it is a big thing for me, and the reason it is a big thing? I planned it.  Yes, I finally got my butt in gear this weekend and planned out my first week of preschool.  I knew that I had reached my limit of reading up on different activities and methods; I had to take what I had learned, decide what would work for me, use the resources I had, and start implementing them. 

Each week will have a different 'unit.'  (As a side note, I feel so official calling them units, and it makes me feel kind of funny.)  This week we are starting with the letter 'A', even though Abby does recognize the letter already, I wanted to do them all.  We will also learn a number each week, obviously starting with '1'.  And there will be a Bible story for the week, and maybe even a shape, though I haven't decided on that for sure since I seem to keep adding stuff.  But everyday we will do some kind of paper craft with the letter and the number.  I will read through whatever Bible story we are learning, maybe with a different children's Bible each day since I have plenty.  I also have a craft book for Bible stories, so we will do that after reading the story.  We will read through the lesson for the letters from The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading by Jessie Wise and Sara Buffington.  I am just using the first 26 lessons that teach letter sounds for now.  I also have Modern Curriculum Press's Phonics level K book that I am going to use for some activites for the letters. 

I am not scheduling a time for these but am basically just checking them off my list each day.  We will see how that goes.  It seems like a lot to me, especially since Abby and Leigh have never had any kind of structured activities before.  We have always just let them do what they want, within reason obviously.  But since we are serious about homeschooling, they will need to learn to sit for a specified amount of time sooner or later so why not now. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Day After Yesterday

God is gracious. Truly. Yesterday was a day that I defined to my husband as the day from Hell. It was definitely one of the hardest days of my life. The girls just weren't satisfied with anything, except maybe TV watching, but I didn't want them to watch TV all day long (ok, a part of me really did just want to give in). And anything that I tried distracting them with was rejected.

Abby threw several temper tantrums, usually over small, silly things that I don't even remember now. And she displayed a shockingly teenager-like attitude that is starting to become a real problem. I have tried talking to her about it (she just continues talking back), putting her in her room makes no noticeable difference either. I am running out of ideas.

But today was a walk in the park, comparatively. We had a friend over who is the same age as Abby so the girls were less under foot. And over-all they seemed happier. I am so glad because I don't know if I could have taken another whiny day, especially since Leigh was up in the night for several hours.

And as I was bathing the girls tonight, I was reminded how much I love them, and how blessed I am to be able to be their Mama. They are so precious to me and I can't let the bad days overshadow the good tea, because they will soon grow up and be gone.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Lessons in Glue

On Saturday I decided that I would try to do a craft with Abby. I feel guilty admitting that this would be the first time but I need to get over that. I'm not perfect and I can't even keep up an image of perfection. Anyways, I won't go down that well-used bunny trail.

An elephant-toilet paper roll was what I decided to do, so I got the tp roll (right off the rack in fact) and drew up an elephant head to fit. I sat Abby at the table and let her draw eyes and a mouth on the elephant. I showed her how to swipe the glue on the 'body' of the elephant and she seemed to like that well enough. She did fine squishing the paper onto the tp roll.

But when I tried to show her to put glue on the back of the head and put the head on the body she started to freak out and pulled the head back off. I tried reasoning with her (why?) but she refused to cooperate. I was getting very frustrated as well and was ready to throw in the towel for the whole homeschooling thing. But then I recalled that she is only three, and I have never really sat down and required her to follow my directions so I decided to try something a little different.

I got a single sheet of paper and then cut up some squares of a different colour and had her glue those squares onto the paper. She did much better with this project. She would only usually apply glue to one spot on the paper but, though this aggravated the perfectionist in me, I told myself that she did really well.

And it's true. Maybe it wasn't what I had originally planned, but it was the same lesson in a way that worked for her. And that is what matters most.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Where Do I Put It All?

Yesterday I bought a bookshelf, secondhand, and finally, FINALLY got to unpack some of my books. We moved into town four months ago and all of our books, except for the kids ones were in boxes by our front door. It makes me feel unsettled. But yesterday I hot to fill the shelves and now I only have four boxes of books left! And actually two of those boxes are magazines.

It is amazing how great I feel just because of this. But now it has me thinking of my other storage issues, like all our craft/coloring supplies. Right now they are taking up space in my pantry but I am running out of room there. And I would really prefer an area more specifically just for them. Maybe something like a bookshelf or cubby holes. Maybe drawers.

I'm just not sure what is the best way to go. Another thing to consider is that my one-year-old likes to get into everything, so something that closes, like cupboard doors or drawers, might be best, especially if we can lock them.

The problem I ran into while looking for a bookshelf was money. New ones were very expensive, and even the secondhand ones were more than I was willing to pay. I think that this may be an issue for this as well, trying to find a storage cupboard within my price range.

All I can do is keep an eye out. If anyone has any storage/space-saver ideas I'm thankful to hear them.