Archive for November, 2009

We had another session of our Growing Kids God’s Way class this past Saturday and it was mainly about the 5 Love Languages.  Have you heard of them?  Everyone needs all five of these to feel loved, but one or two are most important to each person.

  1. Words of Encouragement
  2. Acts of Service
  3. Gift-Giving
  4. Quality Time
  5. Physical Touch and Closeness

The lesson stressed that it’s important to realize that children under age 7 do not have a preference for any of these love languages and need all five equally.  But after that age, one or two will stand out as something that really makes them feel loved more than any of the other ones.

Chad and I realized that his is Words of Encouragement and mine is Acts of Service (I would totally love it if someone would come and do an act of service and use this shrink tube to mail out a package that has to go out! LOL).  What is yours?

When I planned out my posts for this week, a potty-training post was on my list because Ava has been doing so much better.  She got over her issues with pooping on the potty and has been pooping on her own first thing in the morning every day!  She’s also been having very few other accidents in her panties.

But today she had to prove me wrong once again.  She’s still been pooping on the potty, but she peed in her panties three times today!!  The only reason I can think of is because we’re getting ready to go on a trip to Wisconsin (nope, not for ski vacations, just for Thanksgiving!) and it’s throwing off her routine.

I honestly have no idea what she’ll be doing in this area when we’re gone.  I’m bringing some extra diapers, two packages of Pull-ups and all of her panties, so we’re prepared for anything.  Hopefully she’ll do great and will keep going in the potty, though!

mom-working-at-homeEver since I quit my job as a dental assistant to stay at home, I have also been working from home.  As soon as I quit, we moved and bought the company we own now and I’ve been handling all the administrative duties from home.  In the last few years, I have also added in other money-making ventures to supplement our income…things like taking surveys, paid blogging (you know all those links in my posts that seem to come out of nowhere?), and recently freelance writing for Demand Studios.

I follow a lot of other work-at-home moms on Twitter and am amazed at all the work they get done.  In fact, I sometimes feel guilty that they get so much work done and it’s hard for me to even get a few posts or articles written each day.  Most of them are writers like me, but some sell products like makeup, kitchen gadgets, or Stimerex ES, too.  No matter what they do, I have a hard time figuring out where they got those extra 12 hours in their day!  LOL

For me, in this season of life,  “Mom” is the main word in the phrase “work-at-home mom” and it’s what I have to spend the majority of my time on.  My kids are the reason I’m at home and because they’re very small, they take up a lot of my time right now.  Most of the other WAHM’s I compare myself to have older children who are in school, a husband who also works from home, or some even have nannies!  Most of these moms are able to stay home because they’re earning full-time incomes from home.  While I will be capable of doing that in the future if I want to, that’s not my focus right now.  I’m simply supplementing our income during the little bits of free time I have while raising our children.

So for me, working from home is only done during naptime and after the kids are in bed.  Occasionally, I’ll answer an email or edit an article when they’re up but that’s pretty rare (mainly because there’s no way I can concentrate when they’re up!).  As they get older, I’m sure I’ll be able to do more, but right now this is what works for our family.

Want to learn more about working from home?  Crystal from Money Saving Mom is writing a fantastic Becoming a Work-At-Home Mom series!

Today I stumbled upon a great Christian Homemaking website (I don’t even remember what I was searching for when I came across this, but I’m sure glad I did!).

One post I read that really spoke to me right now was Do You Have Homemaker’s Heartburn? I realized that I definitely do, and the article continues on to give ways to refuel and refocus on your job as a homemaker.

I definitely love being a homemaker.  Even though I’m in a season of life that’s challenging me right now, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  If anything happened that forced me to take a job outside the home while I still had children at home, I would be extremely disappointed and upset.  This is my dream job and even though it’s harder than I thought it would be, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

So I’m so glad I found this article and its solutions to curing Homemaker’s Heartburn.  It talks about concepts like focusing our priorities, allowing God to refuel us, and time management (I feel like I do fairly well in this area…I’m definitely not playing xbox games all day, but I can always find ways to improve, right?).

I definitely recommend clicking over and reading this article.  The entire site looks like a fantastic resource for homemakers, too!

no_toiletI really should have known better.  After nearly three years of parenthood, I should know that nothing is ever as easy as it seems to be.  And if it is easy, it’s just getting started But I still bragged about Ava’s awesome potty-training success, so of course, it only makes sense that she would regress…in a huge way.  Luckily, I  didn’t include my naive bragging into any directory submission yet…because this potty-training story is about to get embarrassing.

Like I said, it was practically a fairy-tale in the beginning.  She was almost completely potty-trained in two days and was well on her way to being in panties 24/7.  And then it stopped.  And then it backed up…a lot.

Now she pees in her pull-up every single night (I’ve had to start putting her in a diaper again).  She refuses to ever poop on the potty.  And she pees in her panties at least once a day.

WHY????  There have been no huge changes in her life…no moves, no trips, no changes in our family structure.  While doing a little reading online, I found out that sometimes toddlers regress in potty-training after they master the skill because they aren’t focused on it anymore.  They aren’t fiercely determined to learn to use the potty, so they forget about it until it’s too late and they have an accident.

That could be part of it for Ava, but I definitely don’t think that’s the only factor.  At least not where the pooping is concerned.  She intentionally does not poop on the potty.  And everything I’ve read says not to make it into a negative thing or it might be harder to get them back on track, but that’s been really hard for me.  I know she knows how to use the potty and she just won’t.  Very frustrating.

If you have any tips or can just commiserate with me, I’d love for you to leave me a comment!  I’m getting desperate here!!

Isn’t this the cutest, sweetest picture ever?  This is Ava and her Aunt Ruthie reading books together when my family visited us a few weeks ago.  Since their visit, Ruthie has mailed Ava a letter that included a ring in the envelope with it, and Ava has written (more like dictated) a letter back, but she’s still decorating it, so we haven’t mailed it yet.

I think it’s so awesome to see the relationships developing between my kids and their aunts and uncles, since they’re closer in age than typical aunts/uncles/nieces/nephews.  I’m really looking forward to seeing how they relate to each other as they get older, too…instead of rings, Ruthie will probably be trying to stick wrought iron candle sconces in envelopes to Ava! LOL

It never fails.  Pretty much every time I go anywhere with both kids, someone remarks, “Wow, you really have your hands full!”  And I do.  Having two little ones only 18 months apart is hard.  Some days it’s really hard.  But I wouldn’t trade it for the world because the bond between the two of them is incredible.

  1. I love that Kelvin stops whatever he’s doing to yell “HI!!” as soon as he hears Ava get up first thing in the morning.
  2. I love that when Kelvin cries, Ava rubs his head and says, “It’s OK Baby.  I’m here.”
  3. I love that when Kelvin wakes up from his nap when I’m in the middle of something, Ava will go in and entertain him until I’m finished.
  4. I love that when Ava has to take a time-out, Kelvin goes with her and sits next to her to keep her company.
  5. I love that when Ava gets a snack, she always gets an extra one and gives it to Kelvin.
  6. I love that Kelvin watches Ava constantly and wants to get in on whatever she’s doing.  Well, I love it most of the time anyway!  There have been a few instances involving the two of them and our Samsung electronics that I didn’t appreciate too much!
  7. I love that Ava holds Kelvin’s hand and helps him walk around the house.  She has to learn to go a little bit slower, but it’s still totally sweet!
  8. I love that they’re starting to play imaginative games together.
  9. I love that anytime anyone says anything about Kelvin, Ava has to tell them, “MY baby.”
  10. I love that I get to watch their relationship grow as they get older.

And that’s just the short list!!  <3

I am so excited and proud to announce that Ava is almost completely potty-trained!  I still have her wear a pull-up when we go out or when she’s sleeping, but she probably doesn’t even need it.  She doesn’t pee while she’s sleeping and she tells me when she needs to go to the bathroom when we’re out.

This is a huge deal for me, and not just because this means I only have one in diapers now.  This also reinforces my mommy-intuition once again.  I’d gotten a fair amount of pressure from various places because I hadn’t started potty-training her yet, even though she was two and a half.  I had even attempted potty-training when I knew she wasn’t ready, just to “keep up with the Jones”, as they say.  Obviously, those attempts failed.  I wasn’t potty-training her, I was training myself to make her sit on the potty every 20 minutes or so.

So I decided to wait until I knew she was ready.  Once she was ready, it took less than two days to potty train and she is completely independent about going to the bathroom.  I don’t have to remind her to go, and if I ask her if she needs help in the bathroom, she tells me “no” and she handles it completely on her own.

Now, maybe this is partly because she’s a girl (I’ve heard girls are easier to potty-train), but I still think it’s mostly because I didn’t push it on her before she was ready.  I just hope it will be this easy when it comes time to potty train Kelvin!!

Lately, I’m seriously questioning my ability to home school Ava when she gets to be about kindergarten age.  I can’t even teach this child her numbers and colors!

Let me clarify…I can teach them to her, and she learns them, but she refuses to demonstrate that she’s learned them.  No matter what mood she’s in, she always pretends she doesn’t know how to count or identify colors.

I know she knows them…especially her numbers because when we’re playing hide and seek, I’ll start counting with her and she’ll count several numbers on her own.  But tonight, Chad just tried to get her to count to three and it took him 30 minutes!  It went something like this:

Daddy: 1…2…what comes next?
Ava: 1,2,1,2!
Daddy: No, 3!  Say 3.
Ava: 3
Daddy: OK, 1…2…what comes next?
Ava: 1!

And on and on it went.

Any tips?  Advice?  I know she’s only 2, but it’s really frustrating that I’ve taught this stuff to her and she won’t even prove that she knows it.  Know what I mean?  At this rate, she’ll never be doing a New York Job Search!  LOL

If I’ve learned one thing since becoming a mother, it’s flexibility.

Before children, it’s a little embarrassing how little flexibility I had.  I was the master of my day…I made a schedule and I stuck to it.  Occasionally, something came along that required me to change my plans, but not often.

Now that I have children, they are the masters of my day.  The schedule has pretty much flown out the window.  Of course, we have appointments, but that’s as far as rigid scheduling goes.  I do still make a to-do list every morning, but I have no definite time for getting those things done….I just squeeze things in around the kids and their schedules.

Yesterday, I planned to have a baking day along with most of my Twitter friends.  Let’s just say that it did not go as planned.  Kelvin has been really clingy and fussy, so I got very little done.  I planned to continue trying to get through my Baking Day To-Do list this morning, but it ended up taking me 3 hours just to get some apples peeled for applesauce!  And forget any actual baking (by the way, did you know glucomannan is dietary fiber that you can add to your cooking?  Me neither until I just looked it up).  After that, I pretty much just gave up and took the kids outside to play for the rest of the morning.

And you know what?  I was OK with that.  The “Before-Children Me” would have been completely stressed out, but the “After-Children Me” was pretty proud of herself for learning to roll with the punches.

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