Nobody’s Perfect

I wish I was a better mom.

I wish I watched less TV. I wish I ordered less pizza. I wish I read the Bible more. I wish I was more patient with my son, more gentle with my husband, had more time for my dog. I wish I called my best friend more often and never sent birthday cards out late.

I wish I journaled more than two days in a row. I wish I could stick with my diet. I wish I could find JOY in my at-work job and more joy in pre-schooling Sam. I wish I went outside more, sewed more, cleaned more deeply, cooked more often. I wish I was always on time with bills and always had enough to pay them. I wish I would never fall asleep while Sam watched cartoons in the morning and woke up to find that he’s been watching them for three hours (oh yeah, it happens!).

I wish I always flossed.

I wish I could be more forgiving of my family, of my friends. Especially my husband. I wish I could forget it all.

I wish my hair would stop falling out and that at 29 my teenage zits would go away.I wish my boobs were perky again. I wish I hadn’t made that pledge to never again dye my hair or paint my nails. I wish I didn’t have to shave everyday. I wish I didn’t have to shave EVERYTHING everyday…

I wish I had a pretty winter coat with all of its buttons. I wish I could find shoes that fit. I wish I had a savings account and a college fund for Sam and a 401K. I wish my parents had taught me about money and I wish that Rick and I weren’t so bad with it.

I wish I hadn’t given my two favorite people the flu.

I wish the snow hadn’t knocked down a power line. I wish I had cleaned better for the landlord to come over tomorrow. I wish we had moved into an apartment.

I wish our new baby was here instead of not here at all – not even a little bit yet. I wish I wasn’t fat so I could not worry about another pregnancy.

I wish I could give all my worries away. Instead of holding on to them because I think that gives me control. I wish we were already there. Already perfect. Already Home. Already Whole.

Today was a good day. A really pretty good day. And those are still all the regrets I had. So anyway, you’re not alone. We’re all the same.  I wish every mom could know that we are all the same.

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Birthday Gifts for Mom

Update: I ended up buying a whole bunch of beads and making six different (and matching) bracelets for Mom. She said the kids at school today really liked them! More importantly, she felt pretty in them!

My mom’s birthday is coming up and I can’t think of ANYTHING to get her besides a scarf, but it’s Spring… maybe a light one? Looking online I found some ideas… but do you have any? She’s pretty hip, has very long , beautiful, white hair, she’s a teacher, and loves nature. Plus she’s fun. And kind of a hippie.

Here’s what I found:

Very pretty scarf, Family Tree Frame, Cool Vase, Cookbook Holder

Musicals for Kids

carousel_film_1956The Savvy Source has a great list of musicals up right now and I must agree that I love ALL of these movies. As a dorky choir girl and dreamer I STILL pretend I’m in a movie and the best movie to be in is a musical!!! Along with this list I would add Carousel and Alice in Wonderland. And if you’re a “grown-up” like me you MUST also see the amazing Hello, Dolly!

Have a beautiful day and KEEP SINGING!!!

Menu Plan Monday

I’m actually really excited to do my first Menu Plan Monday! I can’t believe I haven’t done it before because I LOVE planning meals, couponing, shopping – the whole bit. Most people think I’m NUTS, but I LOVE it!!! Check it out here.

Disclaimer: We get paid on a Friday, so my days start then. Also – we try to have beans everyday – our personal family super-food… so don’t get freaked!

Breakfasts:

Baked Oatmeal with walnuts and frozen strawberries (4 days), Pancakes with fruit syrup and peanut butter (2), cereal with walnuts and milk (1 – 5 days for my husband who takes cereal to work).

Lunches:

Friday: Tomato soup and grilled cheese w/ broccoli

Saturday: Lunch meat sandwiches w/ tomato, cheese, lettuce, carrots, yogurt

Sunday: PB&J, some veggies, beans and cheese

Monday: Lunch meat sandwiches w/ veg, beans and cheese

Tuesday: Cheese and lunch meat wheat wrap, veggies and fruit, yogurt

Wednesday: PB&J, veg soup, fruit

Thursday: PB&J, veg, fruit and yogurt

Dinners:

Friday: Ravioli with shredded carrotts in sauce (easy veggie sneaker and tastes pretty great!), bananas, milk

Sat: Stir Fry, apples, milk

Sun: Grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, black beans, milk

Monday: Frozen microwave meals, fruit, milk (mondays are crazy and frozen entrees are 3 for the whole meal… we do this once a week!)

Tues: Fish, couscous, veg, milk

Wed: Egg burritos w/ veg, tomatoes, cilantro, cheese, black beans, and milk

Thursday: Jif boxed pizza with sauce, black beans, tomatoes, corn, milk

Snacks:

Peanut butter and graham crackers, paper bag popcorn (very, very cheap!), fruit, goldfish crackers, fruit, veggies!

 

There you go. Exciting, huh? Oh how I’d love to add a glass of wine on there… *sigh*

“Dieting”

Here’s what I’m allowed to eat, people, and PLEASE tell me that you would have a hard time with this, too.

Water – not flavored

Meat

Vegetables

Legumes

Condiments and Oils

Milk products such as cheese, cottage cheese and gross plain yogurt – no milk

Nuts and seeds

Oh yeah and did I mention that that’s it? No gum, no lowfat flavored yogurt, no fruit, no grains, no freaking coffee or tea… I am even off all things scented, such as deodorant, laundry detergent (we were doing that, anyway), perfume, etc. I’m even off my occasional cigarettes, which is good, I know…

So it’s really hard. REALLY HARD. Especially because I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 21. But I trust my nutritionist. She’s a Christian in a faith-based practice, and has the best intentions for me. But three servings of meat, 3 servings of beans, and 7 servings of veggies should be hard for ANYONE to handle, right? Or am I that messed up in the diet department? Has anyone else done anything like this before?

Since I started three weeks ago. I have had 5 shakes and made a batch of cookies yesterday that are (honest to God) almost all gone. I am losing it. And I am messing up every day. I have scripture verses up everywhere to remind me that my body is a holy temple of Christ and that by mistreating it with food I am disabling God to work as effectively through me as He has intended. Still, I can not seem to keep up with it. Who can offer me support? I am faithful and completely assured that this is the right thing for me. BUT I HATE MEAT!!! Plus I strongly believe in the idea of eating kosher foods – avoiding pork, scavenger food, etc – but this only leaves me with chicken, turkey, scaley fish, and eggs – since I hate beef. ARGH!!! I’m gonna lose it and I’m trying so hard, but if I look at another piece of salmon or another chicken drumstick, I swear…

What’s a girl to do?

How I Calmed a Colicky Baby

This is just a VERY quick list of things that I used to do for my little guy and myself in order to survive the day and night. I PROMISE to write more about this later, but today is a big day for us and I only have a few minutes. I have been reading all of your comments for the book giveaway and I can only tell you that for those of you who feel desperate – YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I have been there. In fact, I got to the point that sometimes I was ready to hurt my child and had to take every ounce of strength to put him down and walk away – especially at night. And that was MAJOR! I loved my baby so much, but I was SO exhausted and spent that I wasn’t the best mom that I could be. So here are some things that I did in order to help my son. Really, it’s just a list of what helped MY KID. If you haven’t tried these things, I would suggest at least trying them.

#1. He was colicky with GERD. That really just means acid reflux. He didn’t ever spit up, so it was really hard to diagnose. Once we did, though, he got on Zantac and life got much, much better.

#2. I wrapped him up in a heating pad set on low. This really seemed to help – maybe it comforted his belly?

#3. A warm bath. If your kid is like mine, have everything ready cause screaming will ensue as soon as he’s out.

#4. Take your bambino outside.

#5. Take him/her out in public. It’s easier to be a good parent when people are watching you.

#6. SLINGS and BABY CARRIERS. We got a lot of exercise this way. We carried him all day long. My back hurt, but it worked, so it was worth it. There are SO many inexpensive carriers available, too. Try to find one that will also go on your back so that you can do a bit of cleaning.

#7. The vacuum cleaner and the hair dryer sometimes worked.

#8. Baby Mozart movies. I know it’s a parental sin, but Lord how I loved them, as did Sam.

#9. Co-sleeping and breastfeeding while I slept. My worst times were while my husband was at work until 11 pm and everyone around me was telling me that Sam needed to sleep alone. That meant that I had to deal with it all by myself. I wasn’t listening to my instincts and the whisper of the Holy Spirit who was telling me to sleep with Sam. Once I gave up everyone else’s expectation and became OK with Sam sleeping with us (he slept with us whether we liked it or not because that’s the only way he ever WOULD sleep), all of our lives got better.

#10. The baby swing would sometimes give my arms a break. But it certainly wasn’t foolproof.

#11. We also have this really cheap white noise machine that I used when I lived with my very loud sister (!!!) that to this day STILL lulls Sam to sleep. And when he wakes up in the middle of the night (which he still does – last night with projectile vomitting – yay mom for giving him cake before bed) we turn that back on. Sometimes that thing goes all night long. I STRONGLY SUGGEST ONE!!!

I can’t think of any more. And I know that if you’re desperate you’ll do anything. And I know that you’re in pain and are frustrated. Know that even when you’re so mad at your baby the experts say that if you PRETEND to be a nice mom, still speak in Motherese, smile, etc. your baby won’t know the difference. I know this might make me sound like the worst mom alive (and believe me, I have felt that way), but I’m willing to hang that out there in case some of you need help. I also suggest calling a midwife/La Lecha League consultant for sleeping/crying advice. They are major exprets. Also, my family was, basically, of no help. I really expected them to be there for me. And, really, they tried but they had their own lives and had no idea of how bad it actually got, so they weren’t really there for me. If you’re reading this and know a friend with a fussy baby, call them. Tell them they’re doing a good job. And help them. Bring them bubble bath or food or Starbucks or SOMETHING. It’s a really hard time.

And like I said, I’ll try to write more on this in a few. Does anyone else have any suggestions?

Kellie

Felt Board Fun

This is, by far, the coolest thing I’ve made for Sam. It’s fun, educational, and really, really easy to make. The characters got a bit tedious, but it paid off in the end. Plus, you can find great pieces for different stories off of Ebay and Etsy too, I’m sure. In fact, we just ordered a “5 Little Monkeys Swinging From a Tree” set for 5 buckaroos.

Materials needed:

*Particle board – 99 cents at hardware store

*Felt – at Wal-Mart you can ALWAYS find felt and/or flannel (they both work well) material in the clearance bin. They also have very cheap pre-cut 8×10 pieces to get more color for cheap without having to buy a yard.

*Material scissors and paper scissors

*Hot glue gun w/extra glue

*Regluar kid’s glue

*Crayons/markers/color printer

*Cardboard – I just used old boxes

*Paintbrush

*Fine sandpaper

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I literally, as you can see, just glued the felt onto the particle board with a glue gun and the board was done. Then I cut out a makeshift (though not perfect) alphabet, some shapes, a few flowers and trees, etc. I made sure that all of the letters in Samuel D were in one color to make it easier to find his name spelled out. And he was ready to play. Later on I printed out a bunch of templates found here and colored them in. You can also make up your own from a story you know and use a Google image search, but I’m less creative than some and need structured craft ideas. I colored the pages, cut them out, and then painted glue over every last inch of paper on the backand laid it out on cardboard. Once that was dry I cut out the cardboard as carefully as I could in order to retain the shape. Hot glue the sandpaper to the back and you have characters that stick to the board. I originally had planned to laminate the characters and pictures, but when I took the stuff to Kinko’s it was $1.99 for just one sheet. And that’s not frugal. I actually think I like this better, anyway, because Sam has something large and chunky to hold onto. *Note: If you use heavy sandpaper it will pill the felt on the board. I used super thin sandpaper.

To play with this sometimes Sam will do alone pretend play, sometimes we will do other fun things like have the animals/people be friends and do imagination play that way. Mostly I read a story, as in Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle with all the animals laid out and have him find the animal we are talking about and put it on the board. Sam knows all of the colors and I think it’s primarily due to this game.

Have fun. I LOVE bringing out the felt board. Especially on rainy days!