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Monday, January 31, 2011

Potty Training Stinks!

Seriously. This is hard. Samnatha decided for us that we would start the potty training process. At about 18 months. I was not ready to begin, but she was, so we did. And we had quite a bit of success with her going pee-pee in the potty. Then she had one of her bainful BMs...while she was sitting on the potty. And she wanted absolutely NOTHING to do with the potty any more.

We started her on Miralax, and that worked wonders for her. But she still wouldn't have anything to do with the potty. So here we are a year and a half later. And she is even further from being potty trained than she was when we started working on it. How is that possible? Well, when we started, she WANTED to sit on the potty and got excited about going potty like a big girl. Now? Well, she refuses to even sit on the potty. She will even throw fits about it sometimes.

We tried giving her a reward. She wanted her nails painted, so I told her that if she kept her panties dry and used the potty, I would paint her fingernails and toenails that afternoon. She stayed dry all morning that day. But as soon as she had her nails painted, she refused to get on the potty again and only wanted a diaper back on.

I tried setting a timer and having her go to the potty every 20 minutes (30 was too long, she had wet panties at 30 minutes each time.) She screamed about sitting on the potty and when I tried to make her sit there, she arched her back and threw a fit...and as she was throwing her fit, she began to pee and it went all over the bathroom.

We talk about big kids using the potty. She has an Elmo potty book that she loves to read. She tells me that she wants star underpants like Elmo has. I told her that as soon as she goes one day without getting her diaper or panties wet that I will get a pair of star panties for her. She says never mind, she just wants to wear a diaper.

She complained about driving to Waco to buy diapers last week. I told her that if she would use the potty all the time, we wouldn't have to buy diapers as often. She said OK, we will just go to Waco and buy diapers.

A friend told me that I need to find her currency. She said that with her grandaughter, they gave her a Chucky Cheese token each time she went potty, and when she got to a certain number of tokens, she got to take a trip to Chucky Cheese to spend the tokens. Samantha has never been there, so she has no idea what that would mean. I have been seriously considering taking her there just to see if she would like it enough for that to work, though.

Then this weekend, she dropped her microphone on the floor and it broke. She said that we need to buy a new one. Daddy said no. I told her that she can earn money and save it until she has enough to buy a new one (it was only 99cents at Target...the best 99cent toy ever!...so it really is reasonable for her to be able to save that much money.)

Then I had a thought. Maybe I could pay her a nickel each time she has a dry diaper or panties AND uses the potty. Brent said that if I think it is a good idea, then we can do that. I'm guessing he doesn't really like the idea. And I'm not entirely sure that it is a good idea. The thought of paying her to go potty just doesn't seem right...but I can't think of anything else to do, and I know that this is something that she wants and may possibly try to work toward.

What do you think. Is this a good idea, or a bad one? What are your suggestions for potty training a VERY strong willed 3 year old?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

John 3:16

Samantha finally got interested in learning a memory verse because she wanted to know what her placemat says (Thank you Aunt Staci and Tabletop Truths!) So she learned her first verse on 1/15/11 and said it to her Bible teacher on 1/16. Then she wouldn't say it for anyone else, other than Brent and me while we were driving somewhere.

So I was super excited when she decided that she wanted to make a movie and she agreed to say her verse for her movie. Unfortunately, she also decided that her nose needed some attention while she was saying it. She COMPLETELY ignored my hand signals telling her to mover her hand away from her face, and then she refused to say her verse a second time. So you get to see true toddler behavior along with the truth beginning to be written in a child's heart.

Reading

I'm letting Samantha do my blogging for me this morning. And watching this makes me forget, at least for a moment, the massive tantrum she is having in the living room right now. And also reminds me that there is more to my sweet girl than just tantrums :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Overheard

God said "Go!" and they did go.

The baby was asleep. Jesus said "Get out of bed!" So she got out and played with the other girls.

So God tried to be careful, but there was clouds and trees and flowers and grass.

And the three men rode cowboys...

(And then I stood up and snapped this picture)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake


I saw this recipe at Joy of Baking.com when I was looking for a good shortbread recipe. I wasn't looking for cheesecake that day, but it looked so good that I printed the recipe and decided to try it for myself. If you want to get the recipe from the original site, along with some tips for cheesecake success, or find some more goodies to make, the recipe is HERE. Or if you just want to know how to do it, keep on reading:

I have to admit, this wasn't my favorite cheesecake that I have made. I think that title belongs to the cranberry swirl cheesecake that I made just after Christmas. (Don't worry, I will post the recipe the next time I make it...or if you desperately want it now, let me know and I can e-mail it to you.) Anyway...back to the pumpkin cheesecake. I liked it, it just isn't my favorite and I'm not sure how often I will actually make it...but I did want to make sure that I can find the recipe again. That's why I'm posting it here. The crust is made with graham cracker (I used cinnamon graham crackers) and ginger snap crumbs and I REALLY like that combination. The cheesecake is good, but tastes a little more like pumpkin pie than cheesecake. So if you like pumpkin pie, go ahead and try this, if you don't...you will not like the cheesecake.

Crust: 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup finely ground ginger cookies
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
4-5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
(I like the crust on my cheesecake to come up the sides, so I doubled the graham cracker and ginger cookie crumbs. I left the sugar the same, but did have to add a little more butter to get the crust moist enough.)
Butter (or spray with a nonstick spray) the bottom and sides of an 8 inch springform pan. (I forgot to do this, and it still came out of the pan just fine, I guess there was enough butter in the crust to keep it from sticking?) Combine the crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a medium sized bowl. Press the mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate while you make the cheesecake filling.

Filling:
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, room temperature
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned is fine)

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine the sugar, salt and spices in a small bowl. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on low speed until smooth. Gradually add the sugar mixture and beat until creamy and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and pumpkin puree. Pour the filling over the crust and place the springform pan on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake for 30 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 325 and continue to bake another 10-20 minutes, or until the edges of the cheesecake are puffed but the center is still wet and jiggles when gently shaken. (This was more like 25-30 additional minutes for me.)

While cheesecake is baking, prepare topping.
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Whisk all ingredients together. Pour over the top of the baked cheesecake. Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake about 10 minutes to set the topping. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Loosen the cake by running a knife around the inside edge to help prevent the cake from cracking. Place a piece of foil over the top of the pan so that the cheesecake will cool slowly. When completely cooled, cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours, preferable overnight before serving.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

13 months


Jacob is 13 months. He has really been doing a lot in the last month. Earlier this week, he got 2 new teeth, his top 1st year molars. I wasn't even looking for them since he is still missing one of his incisors, but when I was tickling him and he was laughing on Friday, I saw them. I guess that explains why he was so grouchy and was sleeping so poorly last week. Jacob stands alone all the time now. He stood alone for a significant amount of time (about 30 seconds) on Samantha's birthday. Before that he would only stand momentarily and only if he was distracted. He also took one step alone on Samantha's birthday. He has not repeated that again. He is perfectly capable of walking, as he will hold onto just my pinky finger and walk all around his room, not even using me for any balance, only for security. He just isn't quite ready to go at it alone yet, though. I guess he is more like Samantha was than I realized. His crawling so early and being adventurous threw me off, but in walking, he is doing the same thing she did...waiting until he is capable of running before actually walking.

He has turned into quite the monkey, climbing all over everything. Any box is an invitation to climb up. He even managed to climb onto Samantha's bed the other day. From the arrangement I saw when I got into the room, I am guessing that he pushed the box of duplos up against the toybox and then used that to climb onto the toybox and used the toybox to climb onto the bed. Brent nearly had a heart attack when he went into the kids room and found him up there on the bed. I figure that I am being paid back for all the climbing I did as a young toddler, and for all the near heart attacks my mom had as a result of my climbing.


Jacob has several signs: more, all done, eat, and milk. We are currently working on drink, as well. He also says Mama, up, all done (well he said that once, as he signed it, but it was very clear), Dada and ball. I think that he says Samantha, too, but I am not certain about that one.

Jacob still loves stuffed animals and snuggles them every time he sees one. He waves bye-bye, blows kisses, plays peek-a-boo and claps. He loves to listen to music and dances every time he hears a song.


He nurses 3 times a day (as long as he doesn't wake up during the night) His 4th nursing (the one before his morning nap) has been replaced, in the last week, with a cup of milk and he is doing very well with that...except at church this past Sunday, where I finally had to give in and nurse him so that he would quit screaming.

This boy eats and eats. He can easily eat 2 waffles at a sitting in addition to other finger foods, torn up deli meat, yogurt and fruit. He is eating more and more regular food. He loves green beans and carrots and he also thoroughly enjoyed the bean dip I made the other day. So far he only drinks water and milk...and he actually hasn't been introduced to cows milk yet. I still have A LOT of milk that I pumped while working in the freezer, so we are lowering that supply before I start him on cows milk. The way he takes to everything else, though, I am sure that he will be enjoy cows milk once we do give it to him.


Jacob is a smiley, happy boy almost all the time. He loves his sister and looks for her to play with him as soon as he wakes up every morning. I love listening to them from the other room as they giggle back and forth while they play. This week he has been playing with the music toys that Samantha received for Christmas and he figured out how to play the kazoo and the recorder even faster than Samantha did. He gets excited when Brent gets home from work each day and fusses until Brent picks him up and plays with him. He still wants me most of the time, but you can definitely tell that his Daddy is important to him as well.

We are so grateful that Jacob is part of our family and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for him.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Laptop or not?

Brent is talking about getting one (he says that he wants me off "his" computer), but I am not so sure. This kind of surprises me because we have considered the idea before. And at one point I really did want a laptop. To tell you the truth, I still would like to get one, but I am not so sure it is the best idea.

Yes, it would be very nice if Brent and I could work or play on the computer at the same time. No more having to wait and take turns. In theory, we would both be doing our thing at the same time, and then we would have time together after we finished. Which would be more together time than when one of us gets on the computer after the other. I'm not convinced it would work that way, though.

And I could blog while children are awake by going into the living room rather than my bedroom. But is that really such a good thing?

I am afraid of being one of those families who are so busy on the computer that they don't spend time together even though they are in the same room. I don't know if I would show enough restraint to still be on the floor playing with and reading with my kids (at least not as much as I do now) if there were a computer in the room. A computer that I could be using to chat with my friends or play games or write things on my blog or find new recipes.

Maybe it is better to limit my computer time to when the kids are sleeping and then I don't have to worry about it. I don't know what we will end up doing, but hopefully, we really take the time to think the decision through, either way.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tabletop Truths

Samantha and Jacob each received a placemat from Staci and Dave for their birthdays. They are very cute and they have scripture on them for teaching who we are in Christ.

This morning I was checking the blogs that I follow and I saw a reference to these very same placemats on Matt's blog. It seems that Tabletop Truths is having a giveaway...and they have many more that just the identity in Christ placemats. In fact, I've got my eye on the "fruit of the spirit" one now.

So go check them out at their site, Tabletop Truths. I think you will like them, too.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Samantha is 3

Yes, seriously! This grown up looking little girl is 3 years old today. I'm not sure how she grew up so fast already, and I am afraid that it will only get worse. It seems like I just looked away for a moment and she is already three. The next time I look, will she be going to school, graduating high school, going to college, getting married? Somebody tell me how to slow it down!

Samantha is a joy to be with (well most of the time, but what can I say? She is three, and she comes by her strong will very honestly...from BOTH sides of the family!) She loves to sing, play music, dance, read and play outside...whether in the sandbox, with the rocks in the driveway, or in the mud after it rains, it doesn't matter, she just loves everything about being outside. She can sing all of Baby Mine, Jesus Loves Me, Twinkle Twinkle, From the Rising of the Sun, You are my Sunshine and the ABC song. She knows most of many other songs and will sing along every time that I sing...even when she doesn't know the song at all.

She has gotten very interested in ballet because there was a Wonder Pets episode that had parts of "The Nutcracker" in it. When I told her that I had a CD with all of the nutcracker on it, she was very excited and she asks to listen to it over and over. Then Brent recorded the Bolshoi version of the Nutcracker on TV. Now she dances all over the place, "doing my ballet" just like she saw the dancers do on TV.

Samantha adores her baby brother and adores being a big sister...when she isn't telling me that she is the little brother. She tries to mother Jacob all the time, and we are regularly having to remind her that it is not her job to tell him what to do or to correct him. And now that he likes to walk all over the house holding onto someones hand, she thinks that the hand he should be holding should be hers. She is trying to convince her Daddy that she needs one more baby brother...not a sister, just another brother.

She has such a big heart. She sees when someone doesn't feel well and asks them about it. Then she will usually give a kiss to help things feel better. She loves to help with all things cleaning (Well, other than picking up her toys, but she even does that with a little encouragement.) and even gets excited about being able to sweep with her broom and dustpan. She loves to help cook and wash the dishes.

There are times that Samantha is still very shy, particularly in large crowds or in unfamiliar places, but she is very friendly and outgoing when she feels comfortable. Almost every time she sees a child she doesn't know, she will ask me what her new friend's name is. I love that she adds people to her friend circle without any worries or hesitation.

She loves to go to Bible class and church. She gets excited when it is Saturday night because she knows that she will be going to church the next morning. she loves the singing and sings along to every song...even the ones she doesn't know, by following along with me. She gets excited about Ladies Bible class the same way...even though she just sits at the table during my Bible class on those days. She is very vocal in saying amen at the end of a prayer...she isn't yelling, she is just confident in saying amen, and several ladies at our new church have told me that they are inspired by her enthusiasm. Every time she sees money, she tells me that she needs to give it to God. It makes my heart smile.

She started out so tiny!
One year old.
Loving her new brother.
A two year old big girl.
Samantha, I am so glad that God chose me to be your Mommy. I have learned so much from you about patience, joy, laughter, silliness and most of all love. I thank God all the time for putting you in my life and my heart.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Stuffed Mushrooms

I picked up some mushrooms from Sam's one day and they were HUGE, so I decided to make stuffed mushrooms. I didn't have the exact ingredients that the recipe called for, so I adapted it to what I did have on hand. I like it so much that I decided I would make them for Christmas...of course, then in the midst of everything else on Christmas, I completely forgot about the mushrooms. So I made them while Dave and Staci were here after Christmas...and I think they were a big hit. I know that Brent and I really enjoyed them. One word of caution, though, they really need to be served warm...they don't taste very good when they get cold from sitting out.

Here is the recipe that I adapted from a recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook:

about 15-20 large mushrooms
5 or 6 green onions, chopped
several cloves of minced garlic (really, I have no idea how much I used, I just put several heaping spoons from our jar of minced garlic)
a little more than 1 cup crushed croutons (because I didn't have any bread crumbs like the recipe called for)
1/2 lb sage flavored breakfast sausage
about 1 cup gorgonzola or feta cheese (I'm not really sure how much it was, I started out adding half of the container, and then kept adding more until it looked right to me. I think it was an 8 oz container)
optional: Margarine, butter or olive oil for sauteing (I used a little, but not much when I added the mushrooms to the sausage)

Wash and drain mushrooms, remove stems. Place caps in a shallow baking dish (I used a cookie sheet that has edges on all 4 sides) Chop the stems and set aside.
Cook sauage on stove, drain fat. Add chopped mushrooms, green onions and garlic. Cook until mushrooms and onions are tender. Add crumbs and stir. Add cheese. Spoon mixture into mushroom caps and bake in a 425F oven about 10 minutes or until heated through.

I had about 3/4 cup of the mixture left after stuffing the mushrooms and we used it as a warm dip on crackers. Yummy!
I didn't think to take a picture when I made these, so I will add a pic the next time I do make them...just in case you want to see how yummy they look :) And they taste even better!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Black Eyed Pea Dip

I don't like Black eyed peas. I force one spoonful down on New Year's Day only if someone makes me. If Brent wants them for New Year's, he has to make them, I don't do it. But on New Year's Eve, I was reading a blog that mentioned Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls. He asked what Pioneer Woman is, so I went to her blog to show him, and we went to the recipe section to see if the cinnamon rolls where there.

The first thing we saw was this recipe for black eyed pea dip. As I scrolled down, I thought that the recipe would be great with some other kind of bean, such as black beans. But even with black eyed peas, it might be OK. Brent just thought that it looked great the way it was. I looked at the ingredients and the only thing we didn't have was the jalapenos, (which I would rather do without anyway) so I decided that I would make it for Brent the next day. And I must admit, even with the black eyed peas, it was still yummy.

Yesterday I made it for Samantha and me to have for lunch. We didn't have any more black eyed peas, I used black beans instead. And it was still very yummy. Samantha enjoyed it on her "chips with nacheos" (In case you were wondering, that is what she says rather than nachos.) and I did, as well. It was quite an enjoyable lunch, a lovely break from our usual sandwich, and had protein other than peanut butter for my non-meat eating daughter. And Jacob enjoyed leftovers with Daddy last night as a snack before dinner.


I didn't follow the recipe exactly. I left out the jalapenos and didn't measure the ingredients exactly, just kind of estimated, but just in case you want exacts, and don't want to go to Pioneer Woman's site, here it is:

1 can black eyed peas (or black beans, or probably other beans as well)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup sour cream
3 Tbsp jarred salsa
8 jalapeno slices (I left these out completely)
Tabasco sauce to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350F. Drain peas, pour into ovenproof dish and mash, leaving some chunks for texture. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix. Spread out in the baking dish and bake 25-35 minutes or until hot and bubbly and golden brown on top.
Enjoy with tortilla chips.

I think that we will be having this every New Years. Then I can get my black eyed peas in, so my grandma and Brent won't fuss at me, and I won't have to close my eyes and choke them down. I can actually enjoy them :)

Sleepless

I woke up when Samantha had a nightmare last night, and went to calm her down. As I held her she told me, as she sobbed, "I need another brother." I figured that this was due to the conversation we had yesterday when she told me that we need another baby brother for her, but I couldn't figure out what it had to do with her nightmare. I asked her why she needs another brother and she sobbed, "Because I'm sad because he died."

My breath caught. I thought of Amilia and Ezri. I wondered how Samantha knows enough about death to have a nightmare about her brother dying. I tried to reassure her that Jacob is fine, he is just sleeping in his bed, but she would not be convinced.

So I finally told her that I will go to his bed and check on him to see if he is breathing, to see if he is alive. And, I have to admit, that by this point I was a little nervous, so checking on him also set my mind at ease. And sure enough, he was there, warm and breathing in his bed, just as he should be.

I went back to Samantha and told her that Jacob is fine. He is alive and breathing. I tucked her blanket around her and she immediately fell back asleep, content now that she knew her brother is OK.

I, however, remained sleepless for a long time afterward. I prayed and begged God to not allow me to endure that for real. I thought of Amilia, George, Kim, Ann, Aidin and Emma, who had to, and still have to 5 years later, endure the nightmare of Ezri's death. They never get to have the nightmare end on this side of eternity. I prayed for them through my sleeplessness, and then finally fell asleep.

I woke up to my normal life...Samantha still sleeping in her bed, and Jacob crying as he woke up. I am thankful for this normalcy...and I beg God to allow it to remain. But I also ask, that if it is disrupted by disaster, tragedy or anything else, either now, or many years from now, that God holds me close and helps me to turn to him.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Adventures in Parenting - Naptime Fiasco

I started writing this shortly after it happened, (IN OCTOBER!) but somehow never managed to actually finish until today. Unfortunately, even with my outline, some of the details managed to slip my mind by the time I finished, and, as a result, I don't think that you will get quite the full effect that you would have if I had written it all earlier.

It was just a normal Tuesday. The kids were both grouchy and needed a nap, so I put Samantha in her bed, nursed Jacob and then put him in his bed. It was about 2pm. Samantha was still awake, but she was laying down and was being quiet, so I thought she would fall asleep soon, and I didn't worry too much.

She started singing. Sometimes loudly, sometimes softly. That's fine, she does that regularly, and Jacob will often fall asleep to her singing without going into his crying mode before he falls asleep. When she got too loud, I went in and told her that she needed to be quiet and pretend to be asleep so that Jacob would go to sleep. By 2:20, I could hear that they were both still awake, but things were still quiet, so I let it go, hoping that they would finally fall asleep. I kept on working, doing laundry and dishes.

At 3pm, they still weren't asleep, and I heard what sounded like Samantha climbing in and out of Jacob's bed, so I went in to tell her that she had to come sleep on my bed now.

I opened the door and saw Samantha standing by Jacob's bed. Then I smelled the poop. Then I saw it. Smeared all over Jacob's mattress, the bars and railing of the crib and the floor. Yes, both children had explosively poopy diapers and by Samantha climbing in and out of the crib, there was poop smeared everywhere. In Jacob's hair, on his hands, on his blanket and stuffed animals and on his pacifier that was in his mouth. Ugh.

I fussed at Samantha for getting into Jacob's bed without asking and told her that she was going to have to help me clean up all the poop, because it wouldn't have gotten all over if she had stayed in her bed like she was supposed to. She was glad to help...excited even. Hmmm...that wasn't quite in the plan, but at least she was helping without too much of a fight.

I changed Samantha's diaper. I took Jacob out of his bed and changed his diaper. then I tried to keep him out of the way as Samantha and I worked on wiping the entire crib down with baby wipes. That was not easy. He was not happy and made sure that I was aware of that fact. He wanted to be with us and he wanted to be in the middle of what we were doing. And he kept pulling my hair in his attempts to crawl over or around me to get to what we were doing. Finally we got the visual signs of poop off the crib and I stripped the bed. Then I got out the clorox wipes and told Samantha to play with Jacob in the living room while I finished cleaning the bed.

She started throwing a temper tantrum yelling that she wanted to help me. I explained to her that she couldn't help because the cleaner I was using wasn't safe for kids. That didn't matter to her, though. She still wanted to help. I told her that she would be helping me by keeping Jacob away from the room while I cleaned. No dice with that one, either. She wanted to do the cleaning. Finally I just told her that I'm, sorry and even though she wants to help, she can't. So the temper tantrum went on and on the entire time I cleaned. And I had to stop cleaning and pick Jacob up and move him out of the room every few minutes. And of course, he had a temper tantrum every time I did so. Such fun times.

I finally finished cleaning the bed, decided that the carpet would have to wait and went off to the bathroom to bathe the kids and start a load of laundry. I bathed Jacob first, with Samantha continually trying to get in between me and the washtub he was in. She kept telling me that she was helping to wash Jacob or that he needed a toy. I did not tell her that she was just making my job harder and longer rather than helping, but I was sorely tempted to do so. Instead I just told her that Jacob didn't need any more toys and that I had to be the one to wash him to make sure we got all the poop off. She still kept trying to get over to him, but at least she wasn't throwing a temper tantrum.

After I got him out, and got his medicine and the Aquaphor all over him, and got his PJs on him (yes it was incredibly early, but I had high hopes of no more clothing changes for the day), it was Samantha's turn for a bath. I closed the door to their bedroom, after all, there was still poop all over the floor, and put him in the living room to play. He started crying as soon as I set him down. I walked back to the bathroom. And of course he followed me almost immediately.

I started running the water for Samantha's shower and she started screaming that she didn't want to take a shower or a bath. When I told her that she would have to anyway, she started screaming that she had to go potty, so I let her sit on the potty while the water got warm. She again started having a tantrum once the water was warm and I told her that it was time for her shower. I finally had to carry her into the shower and hold her in there while I tried to wash her off.

By this time Jacob had come into the bathroom and was trying to climb into the shower as well. I truly needed about 4 more arms at this point. After all, I was trying to hold Samantha in the shower while washing her hair and body and at the same time was attempting to keep Jacob from being able to climb into the shower. Oh how I would love to have a bathtub again!!! I'm sure anyone watching would have been laughing, though, because it probably looked like I was doing some weird kind of dance as I kept moving my lower body back and forth to stay between Jacob and the shower, and tried to keep my upper body in one place enough to wash Samantha.

The drama wasn't even over when I finished washing Samantha. I turned off the water and she kept on screaming no matter what I did. She was cold so I wrapped her in a towel. She had to go potty so I set her on the potty. She didn't want to go on the potty, she wanted a diaper, so I put a diaper on her. And still the screaming continued. I finally just tried to ignore the screaming and sat with her on the stool attempting to dry her hair while Jacob tried to climb my leg, crying because I wasn't holding him.

Finally, at 4:30, they were both clean and in their PJs. (yes it was very early, but I just didn't want to bother with changing their clothes again in a couple more hours.) I still needed to clean the carpet, but I knew that couldn't happen with them in the house, so I peeked over at Aunt Ginger's house, and thank goodness she was there! I decided to see if she would watch the kids long enough for me to clean the carpet. The only problem was that, for the first time ever, Samantha did not want to go see Aunt Ginger. So I had to carry both children, one on each hip, up the hill to Aunt Ginger's house. Thank goodness it isn't any farther than it is, or I might never have made it. My arms were very tired as it was!

Once we got there, I explained the situation to Ginger and she said that of course she would watch the kids while I cleaned the carpet. She even gave me some carpet cleaner since it occurred to me that mine was in a box somewhere, or possibly still in the house in Dallas.

I was really looking forward to Brent coming home soon, but it was at this point that I realized that today was Tuesday. That meant Brent was on his way to Waco already...he would NOT be home in a few minutes and I was still on my own. Sigh...

I went back home, rinsed out Jacob's bedding and stuffed animals in the sink, then scrubbed the sink, started a load of laundry, and cleaned the carpet. As I was cleaning, I realized that the fumes from the carpet cleaner were AWFUL! SO I turned off the air conditioner, opened the windows and set up a fan in the kids room to try to dry the carpet and air everything out.

I quickly realized that there was absolutely no way that I could bring the kids back to the house with the fumes so bad, so I made a sandwich for Samantha and gathered yogurt and applesauce for her and baby food for Jacob, then took everything to Ginger's house to feed them there.

We finished up with dinner and came back to our house at about 6:20. The fumes were still terrible in the kids room, but had mostly cleared out of the rest of the house. I realized that the kids were going to have to sleep in our room for the night. Yes, this was definitely going to be fun. Especially since neither kid had a nap that afternoon. Oh boy, oh boy!

I set up the pack-n-play for Jacob, and it was just in time, because he fell asleep at 6:45. I put him in the pack-n-play and he stayed asleep. For a while. Then he woke up, just as I was starting to get Samantha laying down on the couch. (I don't remember why I had her laying on the couch rather than on my bed, but I know there was actually a reason.) So Samantha was being wiggly and not wanting to lay still to sleep and Jacob was crying because he wanted to play now. After all, he had been sleeping for more than an hour before he woke up.

Once again, I had both kids protesting, quite vocally, my treatment of them. I was just about ready to pull my hair out when Brent made it home. Both kids were happy to see him, so the crying subsided...for a little while. Then we put Jacob back in the pack-n-play, put Samantha in the middle of our bed and Brent and I both laid down to try to go to sleep. It was pure craziness. It was after 10pm before we were finally all asleep and no one slept well that night.

It makes me wonder how families who have a family bed ever manage to get any sleep at all. It makes me grateful that my children have their own beds and usually sleep in their own beds. And I am also grateful that days like this don't happen very often.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Word of the Year

After reading a couple of blogs the other night, in which they were talking about praying for a word for the year 2011, I was thinking that is a pretty cool practice. To think and pray and meditate AHEAD of time, to ask God for a focus for the coming year. Not looking back and summarizing, but really looking ahead and planning to work on something that the Lord has revealed to you.

Although I thought this was very neat, I really had no intention of doing this myself. Not that I thought I didn't need to do it, I just didn't think about it at all. But for some reason, I kept thinking about some of the other words that people had for their years...joy, cultivate, discernment, contentment.

And all of a sudden I heard it.

Restraint.

What? I wasn't trying to think of a word. Why did that just pop into my head?

I moved on to thinking of something else. And I heard it again.

Restraint.

Are you telling me something God? Do you have a word for 2011 for me? Restraint? What is that about?

I began considering the word. And the longer I thought, the more I prayed, asking if God is giving me guidance here. And I became more and more sure that this is my message from Him.

There are so many ways that I need to practice restraint...in how I deal with my children, in how I deal with my husband, in what I say and in how I act. In keeping more patience. In what I share about my family outside of my family. In spending money. In spending my time. I could go on and on. And perhaps I will as the year goes on and I learn more about what God has to teach me about restraint.