Thursday, March 10, 2016

Mind swimming
Thoughts racing
Full of joy
Seeds of sorrow
Eager frustration
Calling out to the Lord
Seeking relief
Begging to be grounded
Deep breath
Slow down
He is here
Leave it at the cross
And run free in the open spaces

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania.  That's a big word that might not evoke an emotion in you at all.  Maybe you've heard it before, maybe not.  It's a new word in our house and it evokes a lot of emotion.  Trichotillomania is the compulsive act of pulling out (or in the case of one member of our family rubbing off) hair.

When LouBugs was younger she went through a phase of compulsively picking at the skin on her face (apparently this is called dermatillomania).  She now sports scars from that.  We begged, bribed, and threatened her to get her to stop.  I thought it was an act that she could control.  I now know I was wrong.  These two "disorders" are related and classified under the same umbrella of psychological disorders called Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors.

As her momma I am broken hearted.  Did I do something when she was in utero to cause this?  Did I do or say something in her early childhood to cause this?  Did something happen to her that I was unaware of?  I am ashamed of how we handled her skin picking now.  I am ashamed of how big of a deal I made it when she cut her hair with her school scissors years ago.

I am also ashamed of my feelings regarding how her lack of eyebrows makes her look.  Her rubbing off that hair has taken away from her outward beauty.  What are people going to think when they see her?  Will she be teased?  Can a man love someone who does this to themselves?

I am terrified that this is going to escalate to pulling out the hair on her scalp.  You can cover up the lack of eyebrows very easily.  Big, bald spots on her head; not so much.

I love my girl no matter what!  She is such a precious gift to me.  I am proud of her.  Ultimately I don't care about her looks as much as care about her soul and spirit.  I want her to know the Lord.  I want her to love the Lord.  I also want her to be a confident and happy girl.

What now?  I will research, reach out to others, and pray!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Renew

I have a renewed desire to keep up this blog.  For myself.  To vent, to share, to praise Him in the ups and downs.  First an update.

2014 brought a new life in to our family.  Abi Mae aka SweetGirl.  She is my sweet baby girl.  Who is now a toddler!  We are so blessed by her addition.  But four littles?  Whoa!  We're crazy right?  Sometimes I think so.  The reality is we are blessed beyond measure.  No my days are not always filled with floating on clouds, smiles, sunshine and birds singing.  Far from it some days.  But by the grace of God we get through it and at the end of the day I tuck everyone in and I am looking forward to a new day with them tomorrow.

2015 brought the adventure of (drum roll please) A MOVE!  We finally, after trying off and on for eight years, sold our house and moved!  We are now just minutes from Spiker's work and back to my old stomping grounds.  Fun.  And a little surreal.  After wanting this for so long, to finally be here.  .  . its awesome.  And weird.  Our new house is beautiful.  almost 1,000 square feet smaller than our old house, but it does not feel that way.  The only things I miss are my first floor laundry and our huge, fenced in backyard.  Other than that, I am smitten.  I am loving decorating and organizing and making life work here.  I'll take you on a tour sometime.

And now here we are.  2016!  What does God have in store for us this year.  I've started the year with an exit from FaceBook.  I found myself spending to much time on it.  I was getting stressed out by things that people were saying or things that were happening in the world.  Worst of all, I was being offended by "friends" when no offense was meant.  I had become short tempered with the kids and Spiker because of these things.  So, it was time.  And I feel so free!  Like a weight has been lifted.  FB just wasn't for me.

We continue homeschooling.  LouBugs is in 3rd grade (yeah, she'll be 9 this year-WHAT?!).  We started using Teaching Textbooks with her this year and she is enjoying math much more.   BubbaBoy is now in 1st grade and, well let's just say I'm really glad we are homeschooling him because I'm not sure what would happen to him in the vast and questionable public school system.  LittleGuy started preschool in the fall.  I'm not sure he was totally ready so we may repeat some of our lessons next school year.  When he chooses to, he will sit for his lesson and really seems to enjoy it.  And SweetGirl is a bundle of sweetness who is growing too fast!

So, there you have it.  I think that catches you up.  Let's see if I can keep you caught up from now on :-)


Monday, December 8, 2014

Abi Mae's birth story

Abigail Mae joined our happy little family on Monday September 8th at 2:33pm.  I wanted to write down her birth story for my own sake and for those who, like me, enjoy reading such things.

At 38 weeks and 6 days pregnant I was feeling done with being pregnant.  I was looking forward to another home birth, to finding out who it was that had been poking me and wiggling inside of me, and I was looking forward to being comfortable again.  This little one had been quite the active one inside and had gone from complete transverse to head down to oblique to head down to oblique (over and over again).  All my babes have come one to two weeks early, so I was on edge knowing this little one could arrive anytime.  I was laying down with LittleGuy for our afternoon nap and he was struggling to fall asleep.  At about 12:45pm I had a contraction that was "different" than the braxton hicks contractions that I was used to having.  Five minutes later another contraction.  I hoped that getting up to go to the bathroom would help and it seemed to.  For about ten minutes.  Then I had a third contraction and I knew.  My first thought was "not now".  My biggest fear was coming true.  I was going into labor in the middle of a week day with hubby an hour away.  I prayed that this wasn't it.  My last labor and delivery had lasted two hours from first contraction to baby in my arms.  I really did not want to deliver this baby without my hubby their to witness and catch.


36 weeks pregnant with number 4

I struggled out of bed and downstairs, stopping to breath through several contractions along the way.  On my way down I grabbed LouBugs and BubbaBoy and told them what was going on.  They were thrilled.  I was terrified.  And, typical me, I was in denial, too.  I called my midwife to let her know I might be in labor, but had only been timing contractions for about ten minutes and told her she didn't need to head over yet.  I called her back about five minutes later to tell her she should come.  Then I started a movie for the littles while I tried to get a hold of Spiker.  Of all the days for the main office to be down a secretary it was this day.  I tried once and no one answered.  I called Spiker's direct line and left a message.  Starting to panic, I tried the main line again and got the secretary this time.  When I told her who it was she knew instantly what was going on.  She got Spiker on the line and all I had to say was "come home" and he hung up and left.  I must have been a sight trying to make phone calls, prepare snacks for the littles, and get them settled in to watch their movie while I was in labor.  Once I knew Spiker and the midwife were on their way, I called a nearby friend to come over to watch the littles and I called my mom to let her know of the impending arrival of her fourth grandchild.  With each contraction I had a growing fear that my water might break, so I stayed in the kitchen hunched over the counter timing contractions on my iPad.  


As soon as my friend arrived I hurried upstairs to prepare our room for delivery (another humorous sight I'm sure).  LittleGuy had no interest in watching the movie without me nearby so he followed me upstairs.  To keep him busy I relinquished the iPad to him and he watched train clips on YouTube.  I successfully got our bed ready and changed my clothes before settling in with my pillow and birth ball.  Once in that position (leaning on the ball and pillow on our bed) I did not move until after the baby arrived.  Actually, I did move, but only to make sure LittleGuy was able to continue watching his train videos.  Yup, in labor and searching for train videos.  Another crazy sight.  I don't know how long I was alone upstairs before Spiker and the midwife arrived, but it seemed like an eternity and the blank of an eye all in one.   
Spiker and the midwife rushed in at the same time.  Final preparations were made and baby's heartbeat was checked.  Less than 15 minutes later my water broke.  That was a new sensation for me.  Again, me being in denial about what was going on, I hadn't put down any absorbent pads yet.  Everyone rushed to put them under me and give baby a dry place to "land".  I continued to breath through the intensifying contractions waiting for the urge to push.  As soon as I felt that first urge, I told Spiker to go get LouBugs.  He called her up and she came in beaming (I'm told).  I was focused on getting this baby out!  I don't know how many pushes it took, but baby's head was out and then a weird pause in the action.  I've not experienced that with my other littles.  Baby just stopped with his/her head out.  I felt a bit of panic, but the midwife (she must have known) said "That's great.  Just take a break and push when you are ready."  It seemed like a long time, but it probably wasn't, before I gave one last push and out came our new baby.  Spiker caught from behind and so I couldn't see anything.  I waited to hear a cry from our newest little one and an announcement of gender.  I heard some whispers and then LouBugs announced that she had a new baby SISTER!  Her prayers were answered.  With some help I flipped over and laid down on my back and my sweet little Abigail Mae was placed in my arms.  She hadn't made much noise and was not pink yet, but she was also still attached to me so not to much to be worried about.  At this point I realized that at some point the two student midwives had arrived.  To be surrounded by women who are rooting for you, who know your name and the names of your children, and who respect you. . . there are no words.  Homebirth is AWESOME!

It's a GIRL!

Anyway, back to Sweetgirl.  Once I delivered the placenta her coloring hadn't improved a ton so the midwife administered some room air to help get her going.  A few minutes of that and she was pink and CRYING.  Oh this little girl had a set of lungs!  I tried to get her settled in to nurse, but she was struggling to latch and was so busy crying that she couldn't focus.  I eventually got her calm enough to get nursing going.  All was well and good until the midwife took her to do her once over.  That got Sweetgirl going again.  The midwife and the student midwives had a hard time doing their check up because she was crying so hard.  But a good swaddle and sway by the midwife took care of that and they were able to complete their exam. 

Hush little baby and let me do your exam.

SweetGirl checked out fine and after a shower for me and some skin to skin with daddy we were settled in and a family of six!  Praise God for His blessings.







Monday, March 18, 2013

Fitted Diapers for Nighttime use

Up until a few weeks ago I used disposable diapers on LittleGuy at night.  I'd never had any luck finding a cloth diaper that could handle going unchanged all night.  When I got my Imagine Diaper Products starter kit, I was immediately impressed by how thick and absorbant their fitted diapers were.  So, I ordered four to try out and boy am I happy!  We've been using them for about two weeks now and haven't had any leaking!  The fitted diapers come with a removable liner.  I also add an extra liner or pre-fold for nights.  Then I use an Imagine cover over the fitted.  It is bulky, but it works and it is going to save us some money in the long run by not having to buy diapers.




The one draw back to using these diapers is that they do take a bit longer to dry.  I usually have to run them through the dryer for an hour and a half.  If I have other laundry going, I just take out all the dry diapers, keep the wet ones in the dryer and add the next load of whatever to be dried.

So there you have it.  Do you use cloth at night?  What do you use?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Preparing for Easter using the Jesus Storybook Bible

Just as we prepare our hearts for Christmas by doing Advent activities, we also prepare ourselves for Easter by doing some special readings and activities in the weeks leading up to Easter.  It is very important to us that we emphasize the true meaning of this holiday.  That means no Easter bunnies or egg hunts or marshmallow chicks at our house.  Not that we have anything against those things (see my previous post on this).  I decided this year to read about thirty pages from the Jesus Storybook Bible every Sunday and then give the kids each a symbol of what we read to hang on our Jesus tree.  We are basically trying to read through Jesus' life and death.  For older kids it would be great to have them figure out what symbols you could use from that weeks reading.  You could also spread the reading out more, rather than doing so many pages on one day.

Here is our reading schedule:
Week 1: read pages 176-207 and hang up a baby Jesus and a crown
Week 2: read pages 208-235 and hang up a number 12 and healing hands
Week 3: read pages 236-263 and hang up a fish and a little child
Week 4: read pages 264-293 and hang up feet and bread and wine
Week 5: Good Friday read pages 294-309 and hang up a crown of thorns and a cross
              Easter Sunday read pages 310-325 and hang up cloth and place a stone under the tree

Our Jesus Tree so far


In the past I have had us extinguish one of five flames each week after we have finished our reading.  Then on Easter Sunday I light all the candles and we do our reading.  I couldn't find my candle holders this year, though, so we haven't done it.

We will also do some other activities to celebrate the Life and Death of Jesus.  I made a few coloring pages for the kids to color.  And I bought some jelly beans; black (for sin), white (for purity), red (for Christ's blood) and green (for the new life we have through Christ).  We talk about the meaning of each color, sort them, count them and, of course, eat them.

Do you do anything special for Easter?  Share with me in the comments.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Fire Safety Week at our house

Fire safety is an important subject to talk about, whether in public school or at home.  When I was a pre-k teacher we had a whole week devoted to fire safety.  We would do lots of fun things that taught the serious lessons of safety around fire/electricity and what to do in case of a fire.  I decided to do a fire safety week at home this year and I am excited to share with you some of the things that we are doing in addition to our regular school work.

Fire Station
I gathered some things from around the house that could be used to pretend to be a fireman at a fire station.  We borrowed some dress up stuff from some friends of ours, plastic fireman hats, the hose from an old vacuum cleaner, cell phones, and a large box.  The littles enjoyed taking turns needing to call the fire station for help and fighting the fire.





Firefighters are, have, can Chart
I made a chart out of some extra poster board to put near our fire station.  Anytime the kids thought of something that firefighters are (strong, big, brave), have (hats, hoses, special clothes), can (drive big trucks fast) we would add it to the chart.

STOP, DROP and ROLL Game
This game is played like hot potato.  Make "flames" out of felt, construction paper or fabric.  Have your children stand in a circle and pass the "flames" around while music plays.  When the music stops, whoever has the "flames" has to STOP, DROP and ROLL.

Create and practice an evacuation plan
While this is a serious thing, the kids and I had fun discussing our evacuation plan and then "playing fire drill".  Throughout the week, I would randomly yell out "FIRE" and wherever the kids were they had to run to the nearest exit.  Sometimes they would find their escape route blocked by "fire" and so they had to find another way out.  Occasionally I would yell "FIRE, SMOKE".  If the little ones heard this, they would have to crawl to the nearest exit.  Because of the weather outside we didn't actually exit the house and meet at our selected meeting place (our spot is our mailbox across the street), but would yell "SAFE" once we reached our exit safely.

Practice Dialing 911
Using some old cell phones we had, we practiced dialing 911.  We talked about never dialing those numbers on a real phone unless there really is an emergency.  We discussed what constitutes as an emergency.  We also talked about what our address is.

Making safe choices
I found a great print out through the Mailboxes magazine (you need a subscription for it) that had examples of safe and unsafe choices when it comes to fire safety (playing with matches, not leaving candles lit, etc).  We did this together discussing each example.

Coloring pages
Here are some links to different fire safety coloring pages that you can print for free.  http://blemay.tripod.com/process.html
http://ayearoffhe.blogspot.com/2011/11/2011-wk-46-emergency-preparedness.html
http://stayingalive1.com/kids_colour_pages.html

Visit a fire station
To finish up the week we visited our local fire station.  We baked cookies ahead of time as a thank you to the men and women who are there for us whenever an emergency strikes and for taking the time to show us around.  When we got home from the fire station we talked about what we had seen and learned.  Then we wrote thank you notes to the station crew for letting us visit.



And that is that!  The kids really enjoyed the extra activities this week.  I also feel that they really learned a lot of important things that may save their lives some day.

Do you do any fire safety lessons as a part of your homeschool curriculum?  Share what you do in the comments!