Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My baby girl

Its time to accept the fact that K. is not a baby. She is MY baby, but she is definitely not a baby! She is talking in sentences, is potty trained, and has her very own opinion (who would have guessed that would happen!). I'm thinking about starting her in a preschool to get some social interaction, but I think she might be too young (turned 2 in August). She is counting to twenty (much more if I am helping), can sing the ABC song, and can point out words/letters in print. We have been learning about the stages of writing in my reading acquisition class and K. is what the book considers an emergent writer - she no longer just scribbles all over the page, she imitate the motion of writing. She is "writing" from left to right, top to bottom, and is using a straight, loopy line. According to my textbook (which I know not to listen to!) emergent writers appear around age 4. Obviously this is a guideline, but still, she is almost 2 years early!

We went to the doctor this morning for a follow up to the pneumonia. She is 37 inches tall (95 percentile) and 28 lbs (about 40 percentile). Good news: we no longer have to do the nebulizer on a regular basis, only if she starts wheezing! She is still on a daily asthma/allergy preventative, and we have to keep the nebulizer around in case she gets an attack.

School is halfway done this semester, and I'm ready for it. I'm staying up till 2 in the morning just to finish homework/studying EVERY NIGHT. As much as I miss the extra money, I'm so glad I decided not to work this semester.

Halloween is almost here! K. is dressing up as an "itsy bitsy spider witch". She found a witch's hat with spider web designs and a spider hanging off the tip when we were searching for a costume. She LOVES the spiders, and everything else to do with Halloween! I decided to sew her an original spider witch costume so I'll post pics (as soon as I get it done!). We even have a huge spider web (fake) over the bushes in front of my living room, as well as a giant spider living in it. We carved a pumpkin (jack o'lantern?) over the weekend. K. loves pumpkins almost as much as she does the spiders (MY pumpkin!) so I figured she would have a blast but every time she tried to scoop out the seeds she would start gagging and run away! I guess she didn't like the smell!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Update

My interview for student teaching went great! The department head was impressed by my resume, and had a ton of good things to say about the application I put together.

I also found out that I can student teach in the city I am living in. I didn't think I would get to because H. works for the district, and I've also worked for the district. Turns out that I just have to go to a school where I haven't worked.

So yay! I'm excited!

Oh and I also found out that next semester I will only have school 2 days a week (meaning only 200 miles a week, opposed to the 500 I'm driving this semester), and one day a week at the elementary school where I am student teaching. That's gonna save a TON of money on gas... looks like Disney World may be a possibility next summer!

Send a few good lucks?

I have a meeting with the head of the student teacher placement today. I'm incredibly nervous (although the secretary said it wasn't a big deal) because this is the woman who will decide (after a 30 minute meeting) whether or not I am capable of continuing in education.

I had to put together a HUGE (40 something page, but some were copies) document of my work, a resume, and why I want to be a teacher. She has reviewed the document last week, and today I am meeting with her to decide 1) whether or not I can student teacher, and 2) if so, where I will be going.

This may not be as big of a deal as I'm making it seem, but still, today's meeting will determine what I'm doing for at least the next year (1 semester of observations in the school/one semester of student teaching). So maybe if you could send some luck this way (luck that I get into the school I requested, the one that is close to home) I'd really appreciate it!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ups and Downs

Ups and Downs of parenting a toddler

Up: Crawling/Walking/Running Down: Trying to escape every 3.5 seconds of the day

Up: Sleeping in a big girl bed Down: Realizing she is no longer stuck in her crib

Up: Learning to color/draw Down: Crayon/Marker lines on the table

Up: Being potty trained! Down: icky public restrooms

Up: Talking Down: Talking (especially NO!!)

Up: Increasing independence Down: DO IT BY SELF!! (but only when running late to an appointment)

Even with all of the "downs", I wouldn't ask for anything different!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Will it ever go away?

K. has been doing GREAT since she was released from the hospital. Well, had been doing great - She ended up having to go back to the doctor today because her symptoms came back. She coughed all night long, keeping us all awake. When I dropped her off at my MIL's house today she immediately got on the floor to play with her Lego's (relax, they are the HUGE baby safe ones!), but by the time H. came to see her at lunch she was breathing heavy and very listless.

She went into the doctor at 1:00 and was given THREE more medications to take (adding to the two we are doing right now!!). She has to go back Thursday for a follow up, to see if the meds. are working. Did I mention FIVE medicines during the day? FIVE?! I know some people do much more, but it is a new routine that I'm having to get used to. Two of the five are breathing treatments given through a nebulizer, so that takes time to sit and finish. Oh, and it has to be EVERY 6 hours, including through the night. I almost feel like night time feedings are back!

Don't get me wrong: I'm not complaining about doing this to make her feel better. I will gladly do anything within my power to help her and make her well again. I'm just a little overwhelmed right now. I was terrified she would have to go back into the hospital, but luckily we are trying to treat it at home for now. The doctor is thinking asthma (aggravated by the end of the pneumonia), but says he can't diagnose asthma until she has shown symptoms for at least 6 months.

Oh, and you know you love your kid when you break down crying in front of half of your math concepts class. H. called and told me that K. was not doing well right before I went to class. Since my university is about an hour away from our house, we both decided I should just stay there, finish the class, and then come home. He agreed to call me if she had to go back to the hospital. I reluctantly went into class, and told my teacher that if I got the phone call, I would have to leave. She was very understanding, but at the same time she made me feel guilty. She asked what I was doing there, and told me to go home. A few people asked about what was going on, but I was already starting to tear up by then.

I do feel a little stupid, especially since it was not as big of a deal as I thought (Kim thinks: OMG, she is going to be hospitalized, OMG she can't breathe, OMG why am I so selfish, I came to school instead of staying with my baby, OMG OMG what happens if she doesn't get better) Maybe I did overreact but she is my baby, my only baby, and I was worried.

She still has a pretty deep cough, but she is breathing much easier.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I will remember

This is a few days late because we were at the hospital, but I want to share my story.

I was in tenth grade, barely old enough to understand the impact on our country, on our world. I was early to my first class and was sitting around, probably gossiping with friends. A boy walked in and turned on the TV, which was a normal morning routine for our geography class.
We started class with the news coverage. Our teacher became so upset he couldn't conduct class. He had a brother working in the World Trade Center. All I can remember from those first moments was what he silently wrote on the board. It was the first time I had seen the name Osama Bin Laden. It has since become a name I will never forget. My classmates and I spent the day watching news coverage. Although we were still young, we knew the major personal impact this would have on our lives.

I grew up near Ft. Hood, Texas. My childhood house was literally 2 blocks away from post. That was the day the post closed, and traffic to post was backed up all the way through town. Friday's football game was accompanied by soldiers carrying firearms. Very close friends and family members were sent overseas. My high school graduation had soldiers posted outside of the building, as well as at every entrance/exit. We had a direct satellite connection to Iraq so the soldiers who had children graduating could see their child walk across the stage. They were able to talk to their kids after the ceremony. General Chiarelli even made a speech to the graduating class. He had a son who graduated with me.

I have a friend who's dad and brother both went overseas in the Army. Her brother flew home the same day as her dad flew out. I know a few people who have lost spouses, friends, and children.

I tend to think of this as a day K. will learn about in history class. She will be able to read, learn, and hear the stories related, but it will never have the same impact as it did to our class, to me.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Update

K. is doing MUCH, much better. We are home now, but she is on strict treatment with antibiotics, steroids, and breathing treatments.

Last night was extremely long. She had to sleep under an oxygen tent (a clear plastic box, basically) in order to keep her stats up. Every time she woke up she was terrified, so we pulled her out and comforted her. Her oxygen stats would drop at least 5-10% every time she was out of the box. She had a continuous oxygen monitor on her toe, and was hooked to the machine all night. Every time it dropped below 90 the VERY LOUD alarm would sound.

Her doctor came in this morning while K. was up and playing. He listened to her lungs, and cleared her to go home. I am still concerned that she will not breathe as well as she could tonight, but I am extremely glad to be home. My poor baby is now weary of anyone who is in scrubs, and has bruises at any point she has a visible vein. The nurses ended up putting 3 different IV's in (blown vein, IV falling out, etc.) and poked her many, many more times. She still did great, all things considered. I am very proud of how brave she was.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Prayers

H. and I had to take K. to the ER yesterday afternoon. She had what seemed to be a cold for a few days. Wednesday she developed a cough. By Thursday she was having a hard time breathing. Her entire stomach was moving in and out with every breath.

She was diagnosed with pneumonia in the left lung. She is having breathing treatments several times a day, along with IV steroids. The doctor admitted her to the hospital from the ER.

She showed a ton of improvement last night, even getting up and playing. She is staying in a super cute room with all kinds of fish and Elmo on the walls, so she was loving that.

The pneumonia seems to be clearing up (tons of coughing, lots of mucus), but the doctors are very concerned with her oxygen levels. From what was explained to me, oxygen levels at her age need to be between 93 and 97%. When she was admitted hers were at 84%. She quickly rose to 95% by the time she went to bed, but overnight they dropped back into the 80's. She was again at 95% when she woke up.

They are concerned that it may do damage to her while she is asleep. We would greatly appreciate anyone who could send a prayer our way.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ike

We have had several plans cancelled this weekend. H. and I were going to leave K. with her grandma and head up to Southlake to go to The Melting Pot with a group of friends. We decided to reschedule after two people couldn't make it.

We were going to go to Six Flags in Arlington with a very close friend and her mom, but her mom broke her toe and decided against walking. I don't blame her - I would too! I even mentioned the zoo, just to get out of the house.

But, while we were being indecisive, our plans were made for us by someone (or someTHING) named Ike.

So, I guess this is a weekend full of movies, games, and computer time (and maybe some catching up on school work!). I'm just hoping that we are far enough north to escape the hurricane portion. A little rain won't hurt, but I'm not too sure I can handle a full blown hurricane.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Damn you, Mario!

We bought a Wii about a year ago (used, with a few games included), and I never really got into it. H. surprised me with Wii Fit right after it came out, but I haven't really played it much.

We have multiple game systems (about 6!!), and I rarely play any of them.

And yet, I fell in love with Mario Cart on Wii. We've played it on the 64, but I didn't really get into it. See, I've always been one of those people who turn the controller when I am racing, thinking that it will help me move around the corner a little faster, or even stay on the track. With the new Mario Cart, you HAVE to turn the controller, just like a steering wheel of a car! In fact, if you buy the game as opposed to renting it, the wheel is packaged with the game.

So what is the problem? The fact that I stayed up till 2:00 am last night, forgot to do my reading for my class today, and I am already looking forward to playing again tonight!

Maybe I'll actually get some work done after the game goes back on Thursday!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Please Welcome...

Adrian Alexander! Born September 5.
9 lbs 13.8 oz. (yes, only 2.2 ounces shy of 10 lbs!!)
20 inches.

My SIL and baby are both doing great. There is even talk of them going home this afternoon!

Pics as soon as I get my camera back!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

umm, hi.

I've been so busy that I've neglected the blog world! Sorry, so much to tell! I'll save time and list:

1. School started last week. My first professor started class by saying, "This is going to be a tough semester. Some of you won't make it." What positive energy!! *rolls eyes* So far everything has been going okay. K. and I are both adjusting to the change.

2. My job (the same as last year), was supposedly not going to be around this year. The department that ran the program was dissolved, so we planned on me not working this year. I got a phone call at 8:30 pm the night before school started telling me the program was a go. I decided not to do it full time (mostly because of a lack of time), but I am still working as a substitute.

3. Still no baby. Almost 2 weeks past due date. Still waiting.

4. I asked H. if we could put up Christmas lights last night. I was only partly kidding.

5. The most exciting news?? K. is potty training!! After her week long stomach virus, she started crying every time she peed or pooped in her pull ups. It took me a day, but I realized she started crying BEFORE she actually went. This led to 2 days of her sitting on the potty, crying, while I was trying to comfort her. Now, a week later, she has only had 3 accidents that I can remember. I'm so proud of her, and extremely glad I didn't listen to any advice on potty training. My theory was that it would be like everything else she has learned - on her own terms.

Oh, and the cutest thing happened yesterday. K. has an aunt, C, who is in the 3rd grade (yes its a big age gap between her and my husband!). C has been raised as an only child because her brother and sister are so much older and already out of the house. She was not used to sharing and having someone else play with her toys, so when K. was old enough to get into things there were quite a few battles ending with her smacking K.'s hand and telling her no. She was disciplined, but the adults always told her that she was going to be in trouble when K. got old enough to fight back (because she is tough!! lol). Yesterday C. took one of K.'s shoes without asking and got right in K.'s face asking questions. K. reached out and told her to "MOVE!" She accidentally (or maybe on purpose, I couldn't tell) hit her in the face. I know she learned to do that because we tell the dogs to move when they get in our faces.

C. did run off crying, because her feelings were hurt. Her mom went to talk to her, and try to make her realize that K. is a person and not a baby doll that she can only play with when she wants and be mean when she doesn't.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Random Facts

We've been dealing with illness for the past week at my house - so instead of an actual post why don't you enjoy some random facts I put together while K. is napping?

1. I HAVE to finish a book the same day I started it. To me, its a little like a movie - why start if you don't stop.

2. I read 2 books this weekend. Being sick is a great excuse to read in bed all afternoon!

3. Peaches are my favorite fruit, yet I went for about a year without eating a fresh peach. Why?

4. Because I found a worm in my peach last summer. This has led to weird habit of cutting my peach into bite sized pieces (think: toddler food) in order to be sure there is no worm.

5. I am terrified of water. I don't look at it in the shower, I can't stand it in my face, and I get nervous driving next to a river or lake.

6. It is 75 degrees here today!!

7. I've been walking/running on my treadmill for about 3 weeks and have already lost 10 inches.

8. I started a diet last week and have lost 3 pounds so far.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Damn Rain

Normally I wouldn't complain about rain - especially in the middle of August (OMG ITS THE MIDDLE OF AUGUST ALREADY?!). Normally, a little rain would be the perfect break to 100+ degree weather, and would be welcomed.

But when the weather forecasts have been saying 30%-60% chance of rain for the past 2 weeks and it hasn't rained yet, I tend to ignore the forecasts. Which is exactly the reason why I spent a few hours in the 100+ degree weather on Saturday, cleaning my car. I washed, shined, and cleaned the windows. I threw out all the stray Cheerios and put all the little "car toys" in their own container to keep them organized. I even cleaned the wheels!!

And what happened this morning? Yes, it rained. As I said, damn rain!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Embarrassed

With all of the stats/updates on K.'s doctor's appointment I failed to mention that it was the first time she has really embarrassed me in public. She has had her fair share of tantrums and crying, but they have all been manageable. Yesterday she was extremely well mannered and didn't even think about having a tantrum. However, I'm learning that her beginning to talk is MUCH more embarrassing than any tantrum she has had.

I am trying to start potty training at home. She has been doing wonderfully with parts of it: she knows the routine (take off pants, pull down Pull-Up, sit on the potty, wipe, flush, wash hands) and does it every time. She very rarely actually goes when she is sitting on the potty, and tells me immediately after she goes that it is time to potty. Lately she has been telling me as she is going. As a result, I have been trying to make her more aware of what she is doing by giving her bodily functions names and telling her when she pees or poops, etc.

H. thinks its hilarious to add "toot" to her list of things that her body is doing. Every time she farted (when she was a few months younger), he would say, "Uh oh, baby toot!!" Now every time she or any one around her farts she says, "(insert name here) TOOT!" Very, VERY loudly.

So yesterday while we were waiting for her blood to be drawn, we were sitting in a long hallway with chairs lining the sides - a semi-waiting room for about 3 different doctors offices. There was only one other woman around us, but a TON of other people down the hall waiting for the other doctors. After we signed in and turned in necessary forms, K. and I sat in the old vinyl chair and K. began playing with a horse toy. She dropped it on the ground and when I bent down to pick it up the old vinyl squeaked with me moving. Her jaw dropped, forming an O with her mouth.

And what came out next?? "Uh oh!! MOMMY TOOT!!" And if it weren't bad enough, every time I moved the chair continued squeaking. K. didn't say anything to me, but turned her head every time. I got up and moved when she said, "Mommy need potty?"

Kid's say the darnedest things?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Doctor's Appointment

K.'s 2 year check up was this afternoon. I was a little nervous because it was just her and I, and she doesn't like to sit for long periods of time (what 2 year old does?!). I packed plenty of books and toys, but luckily we didn't have to wait for long. We were pleasantly surprised when H. came in (he took a late lunch), and he sat with her until she was called back to see the doctor.

She is officially tall for her age (I KNEW IT! lol), at 35" (80th percentile), and she weighs 27 lbs 8 oz (60th percentile). She sat quietly while the doctor looked her over and didn't complain at all. We had to go to a different building so she could get blood work done and I was nervous the entire way. She didn't seem to care (obviously didn't know what was going on!), and just wanted to play in the chairs.

After chasing her down a long hallway (the lab was in the same administration building that H. works in) while she was yelling DADDY!!! the entire way, the tech called us back. K. squirmed for a little while because I was holding her, yelled stuck!!! a few times, then quieted down. She watched with interest as the woman tied a rubber band around her arm and looked for a vein.

And the most amazing part?? She didn't even cry. She didn't jerk around, she didn't try to get down, and she didn't scream. She just sat there and watched as her blood was being drawn. I am extremely proud of her.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Things I could live without

(Yes, I know I posted once already. I'm annoyed and just trying to pass time. Deal with it.)

- Not having a dishwasher. I feel like I ALWAYS have a pile of dishes waiting on me - and there are only 3 of us!!

- K.'s doctor. Every time I call I get a recording telling me that they are closed until the next week. Last week I called and he was on vacation. The nice secretary (on the answering machine) told me to call 911 if it was an emergency. Well, duh.

- H. blaming things on me. His most recent "mistake" was leaving the sprinklers on all night, but only on one side of the house. Water from our house was all the way down the street, making its way 2 streets down from us. We got this giant water bill last week, and H.'s response? "You forgot to remind me to turn it off." Grr.

- Dogs. Discovered a new hole. This one included electrical wiring - they got lucky.

- 107 degrees, plus humidity. The thermometer on the car read 109 at one point yesterday. Enough said.

party update

K.'s 2nd birthday was Saturday. We had a blast!! My parents, some friends, and my in laws all came to help us celebrate her big day. She played with a little boy that was about 5 months older than her, and she did great (considering it was one of the first times she has been around a kid her age - none of our friends have kids yet.)

She had fun playing in the pool, and loved opening presents. She didn't even care what was in the boxes; she just wanted to "OPEN, Mommy!! OPEN!" She loved ripping the paper off as fast as possible. I'll post some pics as soon as I upload.

I still get really excited about the start of school (yes, I know I'm a dork!) and love buying school supplies, so yesterday we went to the Galleria in Dallas to find some new school clothes (for me, yay!) and to buy clothes for K. We found the cutest store for kid/baby clothes, and their prices weren't outrageous.

I do have to complain a little: when you have a child potty training, its best to stay at home. She had been doing great until her birthday (where she was too excited and forgot about everything), and started again the next day. We were walking around, and H. stopped at the bathrooms. When he came out K. yelled "Baby TOO!", meaning she had to go too. Only H. thought she just wanted out of the stroller, and was complaining because he said no. After arguing briefly (and quietly), we kept going only to find that she had an accident through her pull up and was sitting in a wet stroller.

We turned around to go back to the bathroom, and when we got there we noticed a line of about 9 women (and only 2 stalls), but there were NO men in the restroom. H. refused to take her to the men's room, and we ended up walking all the way back to the car to change her there. I COULDN'T take her to the women's bathroom. All the women were in bad moods and refusing to move to let another mom in to change her baby, so we didn't even try.

We are finally back to routine around here, with no major holidays or birthdays for at least a month. K. is expecting her first cousin to be born sometime at the end of this month. She has a small understanding of the baby, but I think she is thinking about him in terms of a doll.

Oh, and as a side note - I haven't decided which is more annoying: the finger paints K. received, or the baby doll that moves it face and cries like a real baby if you remove its pacifier.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dogs

Anyone want a dog??! I have a lab, a golden retriever, and a mutt. Take your pick!

They are all sweet, are very good with kids, and potty trained. They also have some great flaws:

Buddy - the lab: chews!!! we have replaced the wires that connect the air conditioning unit to the house twice, replaced the hose that connects the propane to the grill twice, and he is now chewing the side of my husband's shop. Its the size of a two car garage, and we are going to have to replace all of the wood siding on it. He is driving us both nuts.

Boots - the golden retriever: he's only about 6 months old, but thinks he's the size of a chihuahua. He knocks K. down every time she is near him. Oh, and he is vocal. If he sees you he barks. If you tell him no, he barks as if he is talking back. This dog even barks at the wind.

Chico - the black chihuahua mix: He's actually a pretty good dog. We adopted him when he was about a year old. He was in an abusive situation before, which has caused him to have some weird quirks. For example: he cries out in his sleep. Its like a piercing, yelping sound. At first I thought he was sick, or something was wrong. A trip to the vet showed that everything was okay, so now I'm wondering if he is dreaming. He also cowers and shows his teeth at anything that is remotely shaped like a baseball bat. He even attacked a fishing pole once.

I wouldn't dream about getting rid of any of my zoo, but when H. wakes me up before he goes to work, yelling at ME because the dogs chewed the shop ... let's just say I'll consider new homes!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Please Remember

With all of the preparation of K.'s birthday party, along with all of the phone calls about my plans for the day, I want everyone to remember this:

Yes, it is her birthday. She will be the center of attention, and the shining star in every one's eyes. She will eat way too much cake and play with balloons.

I'd like to take a breath and enjoy it, not stress over who can or can't come, or what gifts you are bringing. I don't need a phone call every other day just to let me know that you might be 10 minutes late. I don't want to know what everyone got her - let it be a surprise.

Just please remember - while it is her birthday, it is also the anniversary of the best day of my life.

Changes

I'm having a hard time admitting things to myself, so sorry if this doesn't "flow." I'm just trying to put my thoughts into words.

When I was in high school I was not happy with myself. When I look back at it, I wonder WTF was wrong with me. I was 5'4, and approximately 100 lbs. I wore a jacket (a varsity jacket at that) during May, just to keep covered up. I can remember buying a size 0 pants!!

I was never diagnosed with anything, eating disorder wise, but that was probably because I was great at hiding. At the beginning of high school I brought my lunch to school, and threw it away at school. I would even keep the wrappers/trash to throw away at home. We were really busy, so I could easily get away with not eating dinner, or with eating very little. I can even remember going to the doctor for a physical so I could play softball and wincing when the scale read 108.

After some major life changes that included starting over completely, I started feeling better about myself. I went to a university in Arlington, where I didn't know anyone. I met my husband that year, and he made me feel great about myself. I finally let go, and just enjoyed everything. By the end of my first year of college I weighed between 120-125. I was comfortable, and I was happy.

Fast forward to the present day. I have moved from Arlington to my present home not far away. I've gotten married, had a baby, and successfully (I think!) raised a two year old. I've accomplished alot by staying in school, owning (well paying on) a home, and a new car. In the meantime, I've gained a ton of weight. Well, maybe not a ton, but enough. I was at a point that I didn't care about how I looked because I felt great. And that mentality has caused me to weigh a total of 197 lbs. I have NEVER stated my weight in public, so this is big for me.

It seems like I can never have it all - its either a decent weight with a negative attitude towards it, or the I don't give a fuck attitude, even though I weigh close to 200 lbs. I mean, its almost twice what I was less than 5 years ago. That's hard to wrap my thoughts around.

Basically, what I'm getting at is that I'm making changes. "Lifestyle" changes, if you will. I hate that term, and the commercialization of it, but that's besides the point. Starting tomorrow I'm done snacking (except for like fruits, etc). I'm done grazing, and I'm done with soda. I know I can do this, because I've done it before. The trick this time is to keep it healthy. This is the part I'm worried about - I have a 2 year old who looks up at me. She mimicks everything I do, and I DO NOT want to teach her any part of what I had before.

I have no plans on making this a "weight loss blog." I don't want to post stats and weights and inches lost or gained. I may update about it periodically, but that's not what this post is about. I have every intention of writing down what's going on inside. If I keep it trapped in I begin to live in a dream world where skipping meals is okay. A world where we don't need food to survive. I convince myself that I am doing okay, even when I'm not.

And for anyone wondering - H. is being supportive of the plan to eat healthy. I try to talk to him about all of the other things, but he doesn't really understand. I don't expect him to, and I don't expect anyone else to. This is my way of dealing with myself and processing what I'm doing.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I'm still here!

I know its been awhile, but I've been really busy! Sorry! My SIL's baby shower is this weekend, so I'm trying to get last minute things together. I just realized that K's birthday is in 2 weeks, and that there are a total of 30 people that are going to be in my house. This is just family, and a few close friends!!

*I'm glad so many people want to share the celebration of her birthday, but where do you draw the line?? I wouldn't have too much of a problem, except that we have enough parking space in the driveway for exactly 1.5 cars (We both have small cars, so they fit), the garage is full of junk (I CAN'T throw it away, might be useful *someday*), and there is enough room in front of our house for about 3 cars parked in the street. I'm totally stressing over this.

*I'm trying to decide whether or not to work this coming school year. I'm taking 18 hours of classes, 9 of which are online classes. I will be commuting 100 miles a day (damn gas prices), and still have to have enough energy to take care of the house. Money isn't really an issue. We can get by just fine (pay all the bills, have a little left for savings, etc) with just H. working, but as he put it "we won't have any money for fun." And I feel GUILTY about not working and helping out.

*We have been painting (again!) parts of our house. I have finally painted the kitchen, and parts of the dining room. Pics to come, as soon as its finished.

*Just to complain a little (and because every one else has already heard enough), residents in my city are required to boil their water "until further notice." I don't know all the details, but I think half of the pumps at the transfer station went out, and there is a chance of contamination and bacteria in the water that is now being pumped. I got a phone call from H. yesterday, telling me not to use the water. We went out to buy bottled water, and could only find the small packages. We could just boil water, but my kitchen is basically turned upside down from painting (which started before the water mess), and the stove is not plugged in (its a gas stove). Hopefully we are allowed to use it again soon.

*We went out to eat last night (lack of stove, remember), and the restaurant we went to was only serving bottled water and canned sodas (which we figured because of the water problem). It wouldn't have been too bad, but they were charging $1.45 for a 12 oz can of Coke!! Luckily the bottled water was only 0.60, because I was about ready to walk out.

Hopefully I'll be back soon. I HAVE to get the house back together before the baby shower this weekend!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Speechless

For a long time, I always heard about how quiet I am. Translation: I don't talk much around people I don't know well. Obviously I'm only quiet around people I don't know. H. has always told me I talk too much, especially at night when we go to bed. Lately he has mentioned that I talk too loud. He makes comments about how I don't have to yell, or that he IS in the same room, etc. I always brush it off and we laugh about it.

Tonight at dinner, I was talking to H. about a few things that really piss me off. Without going into detail about that, I'll just say that I was getting a little loud without realizing it. He kept telling me not to yell at him (I wasn't, just talking loudly I guess), and that he was sitting across the table. We laughed about it, and ate silently for a few minutes. When I started talking again K. put her hand up by her ear (more like her cheek, but in the general ear area) and said Mommy woud (loud)! Mommy woud! After laughing (A LOT!) I was left speechless.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Cars - and some much needed advice in the end.

I put a lot of miles on my car. While trying to figure out a budget for gas during the school year, I realized that I am going to be driving a little over 500 miles a WEEK! Never mind the high gas prices - I'm going to have an extra 2000 miles A MONTH on my poor car! 8000 miles in the semester!! That's a TON of driving.

While I was thinking about all the cars/driving/mileage, I started to think about how many different cars I've owned. Its a pretty impressive list, so I'll share. Keep in mind that I'm only 22, and that I didn't get my first car till I was 17 - so we are talking 5 years here.

My first car was a 1992 Camaro. It was a dark green, had been lowered, and had a body kit on it. It even had a stereo system, but at the time I was clueless as to what it was for (what's a sub? an amp??). I LOVED this car and didn't even mind that the air conditioning didn't work. Well it did, but there was a weird clanking noise when it was on so I didn't turn it on. I decided it was time to sell it (well, my mom and I both did) when it began overheating and my dad couldn't figure out the problem. Being stranded at night as a 17 year old girl was a little frightening to say the least. And I didn't have a cell phone...

So we sold that, and I decided I wanted a truck. My parents bought me a 1997 Chevy S10, which had more problems than it didn't. My dad didn't believe me, so I kept driving the clunker that didn't have a/c and that almost died as it went up hills. I hated it more than I can remember.

Shortly after I found out I was pregnant, I decided to get a new car - the truck didn't have a back seat, and I knew it was a great opportunity to get rid of it. So after searching I found a 1996 Grand Am. It was a good running car, but a little small. We kept it for about a year.

At this time, H. had a 1990 Mazda Miata. We bought it wrecked (needed a new door and fender) and fixed it up. It was really pretty, and ran good. It had almost 200k miles on it, but it was still really dependable. One day H. was sitting on a road waiting to turn left when some girl hit him from behind. She was doing probably 55 miles an hour, and he was sitting still. Needless to say, the car was totaled.

We bought another Miata with the insurance money, but it was never as good as the one that we did all of the work to. It was a bright blue, and neither of us were happy with the car.

A little while after he had his new Miata, I decided that the car was too small for all of the baby gear (you know, portable crib, toys, diapers, blankets, clothes, diaper bag - everything needed for a weekend at grandma's) so we bought a 1991 Ford Explorer. It was in GREAT shape, and only had 45 k original miles on it. That's really hard to find in North Texas, where everyone commutes. I kept this car until an old man (I think he was 87 years old) ran a stop sign and tboned me. That was the scariest experience ever. K. was in the back seat, and she SCREAMED on impact. I was so scared something was wrong, but turns out she was just scared. His little (tiny) compact car totaled my Explorer. Everything (including the frame) scooted over about 6 inches, and the tire literally fell of the wheel because of the impact.

Shortly after I got my Explorer H. decided he HAD to have one too, so we traded the Miata for a 1993 Explorer Limited Edition. It was in decent condition, but got HORRIBLE gas mileage (9-10 miles to the gallon) so it had to go.

I bought a 2001 Ford Mustang (I'm currently driving it) and LOVE it. I couldn't be happier. Heath has a 2008 VW Jetta. It is the first car either of us has ever owned brand new (although we are leasing it) and we both love the way it drives. Its roomy too.

When we bought the Jetta, we put the Explorer up for sale. A man came to look at it, and offered us $1500.00 for it. We jumped at the offer, considering we didn't think we would get that much for it. I let H. handle the deal - considering it was his car, the title was in his name, etc. The man that bought the car gave him $1200 cash, and a $300. check, POST DATED. I didn't think he should do that, but whatever, what's done is done.

Turns out that the check bounced, and the money was pulled out of our checking account, causing the balance to be less than $0. (It was a separate account than our every day checking account). We were charged returned check fees, along with NSF (non sufficient funds) fees, all totaling $150.00. All of this happened back at the end of April/beginning of May.

I've tried calling the man several times - every time I get a response about how he is going through a difficult divorce, and barely has enough money to feed the kids, etc. etc. and he will pay me next pay day. I call again, and his number is disconnected.

Any ideas as to what to do now? We signed a bill of sale (stating the price, along with payment being cash and check), and have a statement from the bank stating that his check bounced and the fees associated with it. He lives in Mansfield, which is about 30-45 min away. I don't know where to go next. Should we pursue it any further (courts - although I don't have the money to try and pay fees etc), or just leave it alone and suck up the loss?

Monday, July 7, 2008

prize!

So I'm not as far behind as I thought I would be! I got together a box of goodies today... they still haven't been sent off, but at least they are together. Sorry for the low quality pic - I couldn't find my camera. When I finally did find it, it didn't have batteries, and then I couldn't find a usb cable!! Finally said screw it, and took a picture with my phone and emailed it to myself.


Since you probably can't tell what is the picture: there are 2 water bottles with crazy straws (I bought one for K.. last week and she LOVED it!), a kid's book (about a dog and a cat, too cute), a magnetic memo board, and my favorite of all: a Tootsie Roll beach ball complete with a bag of Tootsie Rolls. I really hope they travel well!


I might throw in some other things if I can find them, just for a "surprise" effect! Even though I didn't win anything, the contest was a ton of fun, and I found lots of great blogs to read during my spare time!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Winner!

And the winner is (drum roll please!)....

Michelle!

I have emailed you to get your contact information. I'll get the package sent out hopefully sometime next week.

Congratulations!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Pay It Forward

I stumbled upon Swistle's blog, and I LOVE the idea of the Pay it Forward contest! I was a little hesitant to host one of my own since I just started blogging, but I got over it and here it goes!

How it works: I will hold a contest until noon on July 4th. To enter just comment on this post and I'll randomly choose a winner to win a prize from me. In turn, the winner will Pay it Forward by having their own contest complete with a prize and condition to Pay it Forward.

The prize: A SURPRISE! (Mostly because I can't make up my mind!!)

To enter: Leave a comment telling me your most vivid childhood memory. Or, just say hi!

Live and Learn

I have a real "live and learn" method of parenting. I tend not to follow much advice, and just learn by doing. A very kinesthetic approach if you will.

But, sometimes I wish I would listen a little more. Like tonight. My mom has already told me that K. is old enough to understand what is going on when we watch TV. K. doesn't really watch much, except for Dora, but even then all she does is sing along while playing with something else.

Tonight, H. was watching some show on the Discovery Channel. I have no idea what it was because K. and I came in after it started. I sat down and made a comment about the cute mice on the show. K. mimicked "cute, cute!!" and pointed. I should pause to say that whenever we go to any pet store she stops at all the little critters and laughs and says cute. She LOVES them!

So as the show goes on, I realized the group of guys were actually exterminators, and that they were "taking care" of a mice problem. After a brief discussion of what type of trap works best, they show a mouse being caught.

Of course, K. looked at the TV just in time to say "cute!", followed by a shriek and a few tears. I don't think she understood that he was killed, but the snap and the um, movemKents of the mouse seemed to scare her.

Needless to say, we went back in her bedroom and played with her Hokey Pokey Elmo. She got a kick out of me doing the hokey pokey and forgot all about the mouse.

As I said, Live and Learn.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Postpartum Depression/birth story

I really haven't talked about this to anyone I know, so this is going to be my "letting it all out." For the record, there is a birth story included (not detailed partially for lack of space, and also because I really don't remember much).

When I first went to the hospital when I was in labor, I was excited. I woke up around 8:30 am and my water broke almost immediately. I was feeling no pain and no contractions, so all i felt was excitement. For most of the day I didn't feel any pain at all, then all of a sudden it hit. I was given IV drugs that put me to sleep immediately.

I didn't want to do an epidural, but I really don't know why. Later on (I have no idea of the time frame at this point) I decided to go ahead and get it. After the epidural was put in place, I felt NO relief. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I knew something wasn't right. The nurse didn't believe me at all though. Still later (probably midnight by now?) I had no relief, and my blood pressure was going up. The anesthesiologist came back, and realized that they had missed my spine by an inch. Apparently I have a very slight case of scoliosis that had gone undetected. They fixed my epidural (and did a spinal, unsure why), and all was well again. I became human, and even got some sleep. The nurse had to wake me up to tell me that it was time to push. I felt NOTHING at all.

I don't remember much about the pushing and about her actual birth. I think it was all the pain drugs (the reason I didn't want them to begin with), but the only thing I remember thinking was that I couldn't see anything because someone took my glasses off. I had a horrible time recovering (episiotomy) and barely got out of bed the entire time I was in the hospital. Once again I thought something was wrong, but was told that its normal, and some women take birth harder than others.

We were released from the hospital (I could barely walk, dunno why I was released), and the next morning I woke up with a 104.1 degree fever. Went straight back to the doctor to find out I had an infection in my uterus, and that I would be hospitalized if the shot of antibiotics didn't take effect immediately. I spent the entire first full day of my daughter being home in bed, throwing up because of the intense medication, and shivering because of the fever. I was given 3 weeks worth of antibiotics in pill form.

The entire point of the birth story was to show how much I don't like doctors. I have a pretty good idea about what I'm supposed to feel (although I had never experienced childbirth, so I tried to just trust them). Every doctor (my own, and the one who delivered K. because mine was on vacation) along with the multiple nurses told me I was just fine, when in reality something serious was wrong.

Fast forward a few months. I loved being a mom. I was a little stressed (she was born in the beginning of Aug, at the end of Aug I started a new job, plus I was taking 12 hours of classes, although they were all online), but everything about her made me happy. I got super excited when she did something new, to the point of annoying people around me. I was/am a very proud mama. I am still not sure if I had/have PPD. All of my problems/negative feelings were toward H. I love him, and knew it then, but I would get extremely mad at all of the little things he did. They were so stupid and un important that I can't even think of an example now.

I didn't go talk to my doctor, which was probably a mistake, because of the way they thought I was wrong before. I didn't go because we don't have health insurance, and I couldn't justify the expense to anyone. At the time we were barely getting by, living paycheck to paycheck.

Things are so much better now. I am more patient with K. than I have ever been with anything in my life. Things with H. are better too, but I'm still not the person I was before I got pregnant. Just today I got really upset with him. We were just talking about our high electric bill, and he had mentioned that leaving the doors open when we go out, even just for a min, needs to stop. During the next hour or so after he said that I started pointing out that he was the one to do it all the time - he did it 4 times. He told me I was being annoying, and I jumped all over him. Its stupid little things like that that make me extremely mad.

Could this still be postpartum depression? I mean, its been almost 2 years, and while its gotten better its definitely not gone. I'm worried that if I go talk to my doctor he will laugh at me (not literally), but possibly blow me off again. We still don't have health insurance, but are in a much better place financially then we were 2 years ago.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I've created...

A mini-me! Since I've had a lot more time at home lately, I've noticed that K. acts JUST LIKE ME! For example - the other day she looked at the fish tank and said "Fish (feeeesh) eatin'." Eatin'!! So then I asked what Buddy (the yellow lab) was doing - and she said "Buddy eatin'."

When H. came home from work that day I was excited to tell him about her new word/sentence. I was all "Guess what! K. said fish eatin'." I got a strange look, with a reply "You mean eating?"

Isn't that what I said? I never realized I said it like that, but I guess I'm used to the Texas accent.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

time off

I just found out, this morning to be exact, that H. has the next 2 weeks off. Since he works for the school district, the year starts over on July 1st. He had 5 vacation days left that would have been lost on July 1st, so he is taking next week off to use them. The week of the 4th of July the entire department is shutting down. So from now until July 7th H. will be at home. Driving me nuts.

I really do love him and love spending time togther, but I like my alone time with K. I don't get much of it during the school year, so this is great. Oh well, maybe our kitchen will finally get painted. It been partially painted since the beginning of May.

Oh and the one day he is going in (to make sure everyone has things to do while he's gone) is the morning of our wedding anniversary.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Where, oh where has my little baby gone?

For the first time EVER I had to tell K. to stop talking and eat.

This was huge for me. She hardly ever talks, and chose tonight at dinner to be louder than you know what. And for the first time it was with actual words, not just babbles.

She was making these weird growling noises, which she told me was a baby isard (lizard). "Baby isard talk, mommy!" Then when H. started making them back she made a really weird face, looked at him with the corner of her eyes, and said, "Mommy, Daddy silly. Stop Daddy!" We laughed hysterically (of course, what else are you supposed to do?) and she took that as a hint to say that everyone in our entire family, plus all the dogs were silly.

I should havelearned my lesson by now: any action that results in a reaction from Mommy and Daddy results in a repeat of said action.

Party time!

K.'s birthday is Aug. 2, and we are having the party the same day. Until today I just assumed that I would have a Dora party for her, obviously since she is obsessed with the cartoon. We went to the party store today to see what types of decorations they have (and how much it was going to cost). She quickly paused at the Dora section, then went off running. I let her go, just to see what she was going to get into.

After saying hi to a life sized Hannah Montana poster, she made her way to the luau section. She said hi to "Nemo" (it was just an orange fish) and tried to wear a few leis. She wanted everything that included fish and flowers, so I guess this is our new theme: backyard luau. We were already planning to play in the pool and grill, so this works out perfectly.

I have gotten absolutley no where in planning the baby shower for my SIL. I do know that there will be 10-15 people... but NO idea who. I am about ready to tell her to plan it herself, or let my MIL do it. She called with all kinds of requests, and everything was really, really expensive. And on top of that... she wants to do it around the first weekend in August - which is K.'s birthday. I basically told her that if she wants it at that time then I won't be the one planning it. K's birthday is more important to me, and I will have my hands full with that. We don't do huge parties (she's only 2), but all of my side of the family will be there so it will be a little stressful for me.

Since I don't have much experience with baby shower's, is it normal for the mom to be to request everthing done her way? I assumed that was the job of the person giving the baby shower. Or, maybe I'm just a little too much of a control freak and should ease up and let her have her way. After all, it is her party...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

My little flirt

When I was younger my parents used to tease me about boys, to the point that I didn't dare look at them when in public. Well, at least not noticeably. From our trip to the store tonight, I can definitely tell that K. is not taking after me. I should mention that I call everything cute - cute shoes, cute puppy, etc. and she has picked up on it.

We went to rent a movie at the store for a nice evening at home after K. went to bed. As we were walking through the aisles of new releases we passed a man and his young son - probably 3 or 4 years old. As we passed them, K. kinda dragged along. I turned to see why she was trying to stop and saw her with her head turned looking at this little boy. I mean obviously staring. As we passed she said, "Mommy, cute!!" really loud. The dad laughed it off and walked in the other direction.

What a way to start K.!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Neighbors

I have only lived in my current house since November. I love almost everything about it because we pretty much gutted it when we bought it. I chose all the colors and styles. Well, everything except the kitchen, but that's another story. The house is a little small, but it is only for the 3 of us and the HUGE backyard makes up for anything the house is lacking.

One of the things that has really been bothering me about being here is the neighbors. We chose this neighborhood for a reason - it is in the boundaries of one of the best elementary schools in town. It is a higher income area (which is why we have probably the smallest house in the neighborhood, but again we made sacrifices in that area). All of our neighbors are really, really nice but it seems fake.

We have a neighbor directly across the street from us who has race cars. When I was growing up my dad was a drag racer so I understand and even have a little patience for the HORRIBLE noise that comes from these cars. What I don't understand is why it has to happen at midnight. And again at 2 am, and again at 6 am. Do these people not sleep?? But he always says hi to me, and talks to K. Except when I ask him to keep his dog from chewing up my flowers in the front yard.

The couple next to us on the right has 3 kids. Their yard looks like a great place to play with all of the toys. She always waves to us and asks how we are doing. I saw a friendship for awhile, until we started talking more often. She is MEAN to her kids. She leaves the 3 and 4 year old inside the front door crying so loud I can hear it from my yard - just to talk on the phone (and I don't mean an important phone call, I mean gossip about who slept with who last night - she talks really loud I can hear all of that too) and smoke her cigarettes. Every time they are outside she tells the kids to not bother her. It really just bothers me.

There is an older lady across the street and a few houses down that just seemed a little strange to me. It may be a medical condition, I'm not sure. We had a garage sale in March and she stopped by to say hi and tell us HOW MUCH SHE LOVED GARAGE SALES. Seriously, she said it like 20 times. The weird part is when she took a baby doll and covered her up with a baby clothes and told her she would be happier there. THEN, she had the nerve to start pulling the 'weeds' in my flower garden. The weeds she was pulling - it was some type of plant (I am not an expert on plants - I can't even identify flowers really) that was just beginning to grow back. By the time I noticed, she was getting up and leaving. OMG the NERVE!

Next door to us, on the other side of the mad mom, are two old women. They are sisters, and moved in together when their husbands passed away. They are quiet enough, but still really get to me. I like to keep my business to myself (well at least in real life - this doesn't count) and they are really NOSEY! When we first moved in the one lady informed us that when they moved into their house they held an "open house" so the neighbors could see what they did with it. She said this as she was trying to look in the curtains of our home. I politely declined, saying how busy I was (ahem school, work, etc etc). She seemed a little ticked off. A different conversation led to a conversation about religion. She asked me what church we went to (we don't go to church) and was a little disturbed when I told her that. We live in a very religious town, where 2 churches can be found next door to each other.

Without getting into too many details, I was raised to believe in God and certain other aspects of religion, but we did not go to church. This was partially because my parents were 2 different religions, and partially because my dad has no trust in churches. When he was younger his family was very involved with the church and all of the activities. When my grandpa got sick (had to have multiple heart surgeries, and had a heart attack) they turned to the church for support. They did not need monetary support, just emotional help and someone to pray for them. They asked the pastor to come to the house and sit with my grandpa and when he refused because they hadn't been attending church (they were in the hospital) my dad lost all trust in churches. What makes it worse was the fact that this man had been a close family friend from the time he was a child.

Anyway, back to the story of the neighbor. I did not feel like I should have to explain my beliefs to her and told her it was time for K.'s nap so we went inside. A few weeks ago she told H. that we should go to church, and that he shouldn't let me run things so much because it wasn't normal. She said the devil was real and tried to kill her brother once and the same thing would happen to us if we didn't accept Jesus. We stopped having so many chats with her, but just looked at it as someone who was set in her ways.

But now I'm just mad. When we were outside playing in the pool she was peeking out of the window and shaking her head. She told us little girls (K.) shouldn't wear bikinis and that we were headed down the wrong road with her. Um hello she's 2! And it had Dora on it!! She sent her grand kids out with bread shortly after and told them to feed it to my dogs. I asked her not to feed them because they had just eaten, and she said she will do what she wants because OBVIOUSLY I didn't know how to care for my dogs; they are WAY too skinny. Which they're not. I have no idea what to do about this lady. I'm at the point of spending the money to install a privacy fence and trying to do everything to avoid her. She even had her son come over to talk to H. about the way we kept our yard (our trees weren't trimmed to her liking and we had cut our grass too short, had NOTHING to do with her).

Hopefully things start improving.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Things I would have done differently

I love my life and wouldn't change what I have now that I have it, but every now and then I start thinking about what I would change if I had a chance.

*I was a brat in high school and I regret every minute of it now that I'm a little older. If I could change things I would be a little nicer to my parents and stop trying to grow up so damn fast.

*Speaking of high school... I would change most of it. Starting with the fact that I had the same boyfriend throughout. Most of the time it was just a label (we were going out) and I still flirted around with other friends. I wasn't myself around him, and I think I would have had a lot more fun if he hadn't been in the picture for so long.

*Majoring in engineering just because someone said I would be good at it. Yes, I could handle it. I was even good at some of the aspects. But I think a 1.9 GPA first semester of college (when taking mostly intro engineering classes) says that I didn't enjoy it. I suffered through a year and a half as an engineering major before I stopped thinking about what others said. I changed my major to education and luckily I have raised my GPA to a 3.8. I'm very proud of that, even though I'll be graduating a year late.

*Getting married just because I was pregnant. This is a long story that I'll tell later, but for now let's just say that when I told my parents H. and I were having a baby they refused to talk to me until a wedding date was set. I love H. and couldn't imagine being married to anyone else, so this has worked out for the best.

*Not having an actual wedding. I agreed to just go to the J.P and have a small wedding with our immediate families on the account that a big celebration was going to happen when the baby was born. Its been 2 years and I'm still waiting on that celebration. I really think that the only thing I regret was not being able to get all dressed up and have the pictures to prove it.

*EVER agreeing to live with my inlaws. We lived with them until K. was about 3 months old. It wasn't THAT bad, and they did their best to make me feel at home, but it just wasn't HOME. I was never really comfortable and felt like a permanent visitor.

*Having a child before I graduate from college. One of the things that I struggle with daily is whether or not I have enough time with K. I schedule everything around trying to spend as much time as possible with her. I actually cried when I couldn't fit my classes into two days a week last semester. There were more tears when I realized I had to go five days a week this fall. It wouldn't be so bad, except for the fact that I drive an hour each way to campus, and on T and Th I will come straight back just in time to go to work. I won't even see her on those days until 6:30 at night and it kills me. I love my job and what I do, but it is a little heartbreaking to think that I am passing an opportunity to spend time with my daughter in order to take care of someone else's kids.

I realize that I wouldn't be who I am, or where I am for that matter, if it weren't for these events. Everything has worked out and I am happy with my life. But that doesn't mean that when I am disciplining a toddler or wiping up the table after dinner that I don't think about how different things might be.

A growing child

K. 4 days old.
K. at a marching band competition. She was around 3-4 months old, and REALLY wanted those nachos.
8 months old at the Ft Worth Zoo. She thought it was a puppy.
Carefully eating her cake at her first birthday party. Notice the fact that there is no mess, and she is using a fork. Is this normal??

I have more pictures from her second year, but they aren't on this computer. I still look at her as if she is my little 4 day old baby, sleeping in my arms while in reality she is an almost 2 year old child, who is becoming more and more independent every day.

Any ideas?

We had a great father's day. We spent the day lounging around the house followed with a nice barbecued ribs dinner. K. and her aunt C. (who is 8) played in the sprinklers and the pool, while we all sat on the patio swatting away mosquitoes and dogs. All in all - a good day.

I'm planning a baby shower for my SIL, who is due at the end of August. While I don't have a guest list yet, I have been informed that the guests will be anywhere from about 18 to some who are the age of my grandparents. I have no idea what to do that will encompass the age group. Should we play games? Prizes for the games? Favors?? I have only been to 2 baby showers in my life - mine and a close friend. Both were pretty informal, just a get together with friends, so I really have no idea what to do.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I hope its just allergies

K. has been kinda, well, snotty since we got back from my mom's house. Yesterday she began to cough just a little bit, but nothing too horrible. Today has been a different story. She woke up just fine this morning. She sneezed a bit more than normal, but still ran around like a wild child. She volunteered to take a nap (WHAT??! My child??) around 2:00, saying "Night, night mommy." I walked in her room about ten minutes later to see her laying in her bed asleep, so I covered her up and went to do some reading for my class.

When she woke up (2 and a half hours later; again - not normal for my child) she was extremely warm and coughing a lot more. I had fallen asleep reading my text book (that's perfectly normal) and she woke me up by climbing on me saying "Baby hot. Mommy cold, baby hot." She calls herself baby all the time, its cute. I found out she had a 101 degree temperature after fighting her to take a temperature. A little Tylenol and a drink of water was all it took, because by the time H. got home she was running crazy again, at least until bedtime. If she's not better I'm going to take her to the doctor in the morning. The fever out of nowhere scares me a little. I'm a little hesitant because she has only really been sick 3 times in her lifetime - twice turned out to be a small cold mixed with possible allergies; the other was a stomach flu. We have been really lucky in that sense, especially since H. and I both work around a lot of kids and people every day. On the other hand, I'm still really nervous when she even hints at being sick. I'm like the new mom who rushes her newborn in for every symptom. Or... maybe I'm just paranoid.

On slightly better terms... K. has made up a new game (When did she get old enough to do this??!). She uses my legs for a playground when I am sitting on the couch. She sits on my feet when they are on the floor and says "Swing Mommy", meaning she is pretending they are a swing. So far they have been a swing, a slide, and a ride - meaning a car. I am still amazed at her imagination and capability to invent things to play. My degree is going to have an emphasis in early childhood development so I have taken a TON of courses directed solely towards early childhood (by TON I mean 21 hours so far). It is so fun to read and learn about things that children do, and to know the logic behind some of their actions, but at the same time every time K. does something new I'm mystified. I know its supposed to happen at some point, but I'm still going OMG when did my baby start growing up?? She will be two in less 2 months, when did that happen??

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

2nd time today...

I wrote this for a class I'm taking and thought it would make a decent (maybe a little boring) blog post. Its supposed to be an informal discussion on my family's culture, compared with a family of a different culture. Don't be too harsh - I'm not a great writer. And it is a little long, sorry.

My husband and I have been married for almost 2 years. We are still working to adapt different parts from our own culture into our new family. We grew up in two culturally different homes on different sides of the United States. Our marriage has allowed me to look at both of our families’ cultures and see the similarities and differences.

Before I went to college I spent my entire life in Killeen, TX, which is near Ft. Hood. My grandma was from Japan and moved to the United States in the late 1960’s after she met my mom’s dad. My mom was born into a military family in Germany. They eventually settled in Killeen, in the same house where my parents still live. My dad was born and raised in Northern Kentucky. He joined the Army after high school and was stationed in Ft. Hood, where he met my mom. My parents continued to live in Killeen in my grandma’s house. She had recently gotten divorced and had a large house to herself. Growing up my mom did not work; she stayed at home at took care of my brother and I. My grandma was also always there after work and on the weekends, so it was a like having a second mom at times. She would tell me to clean my room, or to put my toys away and take a bath, just like my mom did. She taught us a lot about the Japanese culture.

I did not realize it until later, but many aspects of her Japanese culture were instilled in our every day lives. We were not allowed to wear shoes inside the house. We had a choice of rice or potatoes with almost every meal. She used Japanese words with us to express feelings such as here (when something was handed to someone, as in here you go – hai) be quiet (Urusai), let’s go and many others. When my grandma passed away about a year ago I learned about more Japanese traditions that deal with death and mourning. The day after her funeral we had a Japanese dinner at her friend’s house. We ate nori maki and sukiyaki, and as we ate a small plate of food was left on the table, for my grandma’s spirit. My grandma’s friend, who is also Japanese) visited the grave twice a day for a certain period of time as a ritual of mourning. I was expected to be studious and make good grades. Part of my dad’s culture that was enforced in my upbringing was that children were to be seen, not heard. I was taught not to interrupt an adult for any reason, and to be quiet in public.

I have lived my entire life in Texas so when I was younger I spoke what is sometimes referred to as “Texan.” I stopped saying “fixin’ to” once I realized it was not correct English, but I still often say “y’all”. This is in great contrast to my husband’s family. My husband, Heath, grew up in Kalispell, Montana. He grew up in a small town in a valley with natural lakes and mountains all around. One of the biggest differences in our families’ cultures is pronunciation of words. The cost of living was much higher in Montana, so when he was younger both of his parents worked. His dad is very involved in his kids, and took part in raising them. My dad views that task as a woman’s job, and left most of it to my mom. Until recently he did not cook or clean much either, while Heath’s dad routinely helps out around the house. I say yes or no sir or ma’am to just about anyone who I should show respect to. The first time I did this around his family they were surprised. I later learned that it was because where they are from saying sir or ma’am was generally seen as a sign of mockery, and was considered rude not respectful. Another big difference is that my family celebrates all holidays and occasions with a big get together or party. He grew up without any family near, and now lives on the opposite side of the country from his family, so holidays were normally small with only immediate family members present.

Although my husband and I grew up on opposite sides of the country we are still working to bring together two cultures into our family. I still say y’all, and our daughter is repeating it. She is being taught to say yes ma’am and no sir, and one day when she is old enough we will travel to Montana so she can see where her daddy grew up.

Lazy summer days

I love lazy summer days. No work... a single class... and plenty of time to spend with K. I have been working out for 30 minutes every morning and I already feel amazing. I have so much more energy.

Last weekend we got to spend some time with my side of the family. We stayed at my mom's house from Friday till Monday, because my brother graduated at 6:00 Sunday night. Friday K. stayed with my mom while H. and I went to the eye doctor. I have yet to find a decent eye doctor in my area that doesn't ask for an arm and leg for payment. I had been having pretty bad headaches and thought (from past experiences) that it was from my eyesight. Turns out my prescription had been too strong, but I have really bad astigmatism. Luckily these new contacts have fixed everything. H. wasn't wearing glasses or contacts, but it turns out that he needed to.

While we were at the eye doctor K. got spoiled beyond my control. She LOVES to eat, and always seems hungry. She tries to eat ALL the time - to the point that I asked her doctor about it. She is around the 40-5oth percentile for weight though... and has been consistently since about 6 months old so the doctor wasn't worried about it. He basically just said to feed her regular meals with a few snacks, and to ignore the rest of her requests for food - just like I had been doing. My mom must have forgotten this, because K. ate all afternoon, with NO nap. My child is a pain in the butt if she doesn't have a nap. So Friday night was miserable. Around 10:30 we finally got to go to bed (we were sleeping on an air mattress in the living room, and K. on the couch) and K. decided that it was play time. She was over tired and over cranky, and so was I. I think we finally went to sleep around 1:30, just to get up at her new normal time of 7:30.

Saturday and Sunday were just fine. She behaved like the normal little girl I know. Sunday she fell asleep on the way to the graduation and slept through part of it. When she woke up she was very well behaved and sat through the entire thing. She even made it through dinner later on. I'm so glad that she is finally at the age where she can (sort of) sit through things patiently

A little more good news - my dad said he would help paint my car. I have an 01 Mustang (H. got the brand new car...but I don't care b/c I've always wanted a Mustang) that is black with gold accents. It has a stripe on the bottom of the car that is gold. My dad used to paint cars (even went to school for it) and I asked him if he would spray all of the gold stripes pink. He agreed to do it next time he was able to visit.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Is this a compliment?

A recent conversation between H. and I -

Me (after opening a suspicious looking envelope from TSU): Guess what?!

H (staring blankly into the TV): Hmm?

Me: I GOT ACCEPTED INTO THE TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAM!!!

H: What? Is that all?

Me: ...

H: Well, duh.

First of all, who says duh?? Second, should that be taken as a compliment?? Either way, I'm extremely excited and relieved. Next step: Application for student teaching. Yay!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Update

I'm still here, just enjoying my week off. This week I have absolutely NOTHING that I HAVE to do, besides the usual mommy job. The sad thing is that I'm already feeling like I've been locked up in the house too long. I guess that is what happens when I'm always on the run.

We are leaving in 2 days to go to my brother's graduation. We're going to have a lot of family around so it will be nice. The only downside is that he graduates at 6:00 pm Sunday. There are so many high schools in the area that all use the same facility, so graduation runs from Friday to Sunday, almost back to back. This wouldn't be a problem, except my 2 summer classes start the next day. I'm taking concepts of elementary math (BLAH!), and an early childhood class.

Last weekend I received a letter in the mail from my university. I was really nervous - to the point that I wanted to puke. You see, I applied for admission to the teaching program this past semester. We were basically told that if we didn't hear from them, we got in... but if you get a letter from the office of academic affairs, then you might have something to worry about. Well that letter from the university came from the office of academic affairs. After a brief PANIC, I opened it. The letter was a congratulations for receiving the title of "Distinguished Student; one of the highest honors TSU confers on students." Needless to say, I was relieved.

On the parenting front - I need some suggestions for potty training. K. is almost 2 - will be in August. I really feel like its time to start potty training. She seems to understand when she has to go. When we rush, or are already in the bathroom she makes it to the potty on time. She loves to sit on the potty, wiping, and flushing, but she hardly ever goes. Does anyone have any tips/tricks?

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Dogs

I am a dog person. I have always had a dog, and when I don't I really want one. That being said, I can't say no to a puppy - we now have 3 dogs.

We got the first while we were living in an apartment. He is a little (less than 10lbs) mutt. The people we got him from kept him locked up in a kennel all day, and he was not house trained. Lets just say he's made a much better outside dog than inside dog.

Shortly before we closed on our house we got an adorable lab puppy. We were originally going to adopt an older one, but H. came home with Buddy. Who can't say no to an adorable lab puppy?? Someone who has had one in the past, that's who...

When Buddy got a little older, he began digging, chewing, tearing up, etc. my entire backyard and house. He slept in our bedroom for awhile, until he chewed the corner of H.'s dresser. Then he was sent to the laundry room, with a baby gate at the door. He did okay for awhile, but began chewing the corner of a cabinet. The last straw for him was when he chewed up A BRAND NEW PIECE OF TILE!! It had just been installed (no it wasn't ceramic, but vinyl) and he decided that the challenge was worth it. Outside - he chewed the wires that connected the A/C to the house (VITAL if you live in Tx), the ignitor on the grill, and the siding on the workshop in the backyard!

So instead of putting him outside at night, or giving him up for adoption (I COULD NEVER DO THAT!!), we decided to get another puppy. Another lab puppy. What were we thinking??! We found a 12 week old yellow lab puppy. We went to Alvarado (read: tiny little town right outside of the Metroplex) to meet them. When he got out of the car I knew he wasn't a lab. They told us he was a "Golden Labrador", which is supposedly some designer breed. He was so cute that we took him home anyway.

Now, 2 months later "Boots" (named after the monkey on Dora; K. named him), is doing great. Buddy is doing so much better. For now, it seem to be the best decision I made about the dogs.

We are going to Arlington today to see a friend of mine. I lived in Arlington for about a year, and even though its full of people I loved it. Definitely have to go to the mall, as our poor excuse for a town doesn't have a real one. My brother's graduation is next week, and neither K. nor I have anything to wear.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Just a quick note...

Ever since I've had K. I've struggled with weight/weight loss. I gained quite a bit during/after pregnancy. Two years later I'm trying to convince myself that its "baby fat." During school this last semester I had to be videotaped while teaching a lesson and critique myself. I was SO focused on my weight and how I looked that I didn't get much out of the exercise.

I have finally decided to take control and DO something about it. I have found this website: www.sparkpeople.com. Its great because it keeps track of calories, protein intake, carbs, and fat. I was so surprised to see the amount of everything that I ate. Its also really encouraging.

I have also bought Wii Fit. I haven't tried it yet because it's at my mom's house. If you've played it, let me know how it is. I'm looking forward to trying it out. Speaking of game systems, how many people own more than one or two systems? H. works with computers, and really loves all the techie stuff. That being said, is it normal to own 6 different systems??

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I think I'm a bit spoiled...

I actually woke up this morning and called my mom complaining that we were up too early. K. has always slept really, really well at night. Usually she goes to bed between 9 and 10 pm, and slept through the night until 9:30 am. If you even consider waking her up before that she gets a little grumpy and, well needy all day long. This was always a hassle because I have to leave around 6:00 am when I am driving to school but now that its done for the semester I have become a little spoiled. I LOVE sleeping in, so this was working out perfectly for both of us.

Until today. K. got up at 8:00 am. After a LONG night. And I am tired.

One of our routines at bedtime and nap time is to tuck in a stuffed Poopy (puppy) and Tutle (turtle). She WILL NOT SLEEP if these animals aren't tucked into a blanket next to her. On days that I work (yay only 3 days left!!), she takes them to grandma's house, just in case she needs to nap. H. accidental forgot Poopy yesterday, but we didn't go back to get it (although his parents house is like a mile from ours) and just figured we would substitute another puppy at bedtime.

That was obviously the thinking of novice parents. At bedtime I found at least 5 other puppies. She held on to her turtle and kept calling Puppy, Puppy!! She was even patting her leg like she was calling a real dog. It was the cutest thing EVER... until I told her puppy stayed at grandma's house. Her little bottom lip quivered and she said, "No, no Poopy!!" and her eyes filled with tears. H., who had been listening to our conversation on the baby monitor, had already gotten ready to go over to grandma's house to pick up Poopy at 11:30 last night.

We retrieved the puppy, and she went to bed with no problems. If only everything were that simple. Lesson learned.

On the plus side, I have cleaned/mopped my entire house before 10:00 am.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

upcoming events

It seems like as soon as life seems to settle down something else comes up. I am looking forward to only 3 more days of work for this semester. After that I will be able to stay at home with K. only to plan/stress about an upcoming trip/"vacation". In two weeks we are going to visit my parents for a long 4 day weekend. My brother is graduating that weekend, so there will be a TON of people at the house. Not exactly relaxing, but will still be a change of pace. Did I mention my summer classes start the very next day?

Two weeks after that is our wedding anniversary, so I am also busy making plans for a "camping" trip for the family. I say "camping" because I am NOT going to take a 2 year old camping in probably 100 degree weather. Its already been over 90 for like a week now, with forecasts close to 100 degrees THIS week. Where did spring go?? We are going to stay in a cabin on one of the lakes here in North Texas. I haven't decided where yet, but I am still looking forward to it.

K. has been extra busy lately. She is talking more and more. Sometimes in complete sentences, sometimes not. She has a tendency to leave off the consonant sounds of a word so its a little difficult to understand her. Her latest fascination is the ice maker on the freezer. Our fridge is fairly new (bought when we bought our new house in November), and I really wish I would have though things through when I bought it. I was trying to save money, so we didn't get the fancier model with built in child locks. Why pay extra for that useless feature??! I can buy the plastic kind at Walmart... So much for my thought process. She has mastered opening the little plastic locks, and succeeded in opening both the fridge and the freezer. She puts her little paws all over the ice and then whines when it is too cold on her hands. Well, that's what you get, you little mastermind.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I wonder what life would be like without sun...

Not really though. I love playing outside, when it is pretty and sunny. Today we've spent the day playing in one of those little plastic pools. Weather has been hot, but gorgeous, so we grilled chicken and potatoes and ate on the patio. I couldn't ask for a better day.

K. has been ridiculously easy to get to bed recently. All I have to do is tell her to lay down and go through a long routine of kissing her and tucking in each and every animal next to her. At last count we were at 5 puppies and turtles. That is all that she will sleep with. I guess bears aren't good enough.

I am talking H. into building her a bed. When she was about 15 months old she started screaming through the night, never wanting to sleep in her crib. She has a small couch that folds out into a "bed", so we let her sleep on that for awhile. When she was slept through the night for a week straight, we knew it was time for a big girl bed. The toddler beds weren't good enough; I think she hated her crib mattress because it wasn't soft enough. We had twin mattress but no box spring or frame, so she is now sleeping on a single mattress on the floor. I feel bad for her, but at the same time I feel safer knowing that if she rolls out of bed she doesn't have too far of a drop to the ground.

For those of you that have toddlers, when did you put your children into their first "big" bed?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Fridays...

Since I've been working at an elementary school I've developed a love/hate relationship with Fridays. Its the end of the week, almost the weekend ... LOVE IT! On the other hand, the kids have the same feeling and are often, um, EXCITED on Fridays. I'm sure today will be the same. The kids have a "Play Day" today at school. Its basically an end of the year party where the teachers have brought in gigantic inflatable water slides and let the kids go crazy ALL DAY LONG. Seriously, don't you think 8:30-3:00, with a small break for lunch, is a bit much for kindergartners?


Of course when I heard about the play day I had to organize something of my own. I work for three hours everyday with a group of kids that need tutoring after school. Its a great job, minimal hours (which I like for this point in my life), and I get to help the kids. Fridays are free days for us, especially this late in the school year. So when I heard about their play day, my staff and I decided to do a massive water balloon fight (and of course some *structured* games...). I spent an hour last night filling up water balloons and researching games to play with them.



I'm beginning to wonder if this was such a good idea. I know I am going to come home soaked with fragments of balloons in my hair. On the other hand, the kids will love it.