Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Giggling Munchkins

Here's another video I meant to add the other day and thought y'all might enjoy. :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

An Update in Videos

I've been a little too swamped to post lately, so here's an update in videos:

Kirk is going on 8 months and is finally showing an interested in people-food. Unfortunately, he prefers crackers and Cheerios to baby food and he'd be more than happy to eat his weight in Cheerios. I suppose that's actually more fortunate than unfortunate because I'll be able to start him on finger foods within the next couple of months.

Shiphrah continues to pick up on anything and everything we say, from excitedly announcing "turd!" when getting her diaper changed to grunting and growling like Mommy when she's frustrated. Here is a video of her growling at her crayons when she was told to pick them up. (You might want to turn up the volume to hear what she's saying.)

The munchkins and I rode up to Houston with my parents this past weekend to spend some time with my grandparents and my sister and her new husband. (Post and pictures to come eventually.) I took a video of Shiphrah running around outside playing with a ball and then saying hello to the fish in the pond. She has taken to saying "ready?" and counting to two when she throws the ball (not sure where she picked that up, although I have been trying to teach her a few numbers).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Adventures in Sewing: Baby Shower Gift

I realized the other day that I hadn't blogged about my most recent sewing adventure. I recently bought a bunch of clearanced fabric from Hancock Fabrics online and was eager to try it out. Most of my previous fabric had been purchased in the $1 and $2 racks at Wal-Mart and wasn't the best cotton for clothing. This time I made sure that the fabric I was buying was right for apparel.

One of the officer's wives I am good friends with is having a baby any day now so I decided to try my hand at an infant dress. I had a cute, vintage-looking pattern I had been wanting to try and it had all sorts of embellishments I hadn't done before (button holes, ribbon, elastic in the sleeves, a collar, etc.) I made my usual number of goofs (like sewing the button hole on the wrong side...fixed by placing the button over it) but overall it turned out really cute and I was super-proud of myself.

Here is the finished product:
And here is a close-up of the front ribbon embellishment:

The back of the dress:

And the bloomers to match:

I had plans to make a matching hat as well, but time got away from me and I was pressed to even get the dress and bloomers finished.
Fun, fun, fun!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Freebies: Huggies 'Enjoy the Ride' Rewards Program

I recently joined the Huggies 'Enjoy the Ride' rewards program and they now have a prize catalog up on their site where you can redeem points for free stuff!

Click HERE to read my article for tips on how to get a free pack of washable markers or crayons without spending a dime!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Going to blog...

...but life got in the way. I put the munchkins down for a nap over an hour ago and Shiphrah will not go to sleep. And she just yelled and woke Kirk up so I'm going to have to entertain him for half an hour or so and then try to put him back down.

Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for all of you who commented on my last post. Things haven't really gotten any better, but we're trying a few new techniques and she really does seem to respond better when I get on her level and stare at her seriously while correcting her (maybe I make her feel guilty that way?).

I also have a doctor's appointment for the 22nd (that's a whole other long story...don't get me started on Obama's ridiculous assertion that everyone should have health insurance...there aren't enough doctors to treat everyone, people!) so hopefully after some blood work I'll be able to find out why I'm losing weight and am so tired and low on energy all the time. I really hope it's not just the breastfeeding.

Okay, I'm off to rescue my son (who turned 7 months old yesterday, by the way!!!).

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mama Question - Effective Correction

I have a question for all you mamas of toddlers out there:

How do you refrain from raising your voice at your children?

I'm really struggling with this lately...Shiphrah is entering the "Terrible Twos" and since I also have 7-month-old Kirk to keep up with, staying on top of what Shiph is doing is no easy task. She likes to get into anything and everything, especially when I'm otherwise occupied, and she never responds to a command to stop. In fact, it seems like the only thing that does get her attention is speaking harshly to her or raising my voice (i.e. yelling). However, I never ever wanted to be the type of mom who yelled at her kids and so I'm trying my darndest to stop. Which brings me to the topic at hand again: what is an effective way to correct a toddler's behavior? She doesn't respond well to spankings (we have to spank hard enough to leave a mark if we want a response...she is VERY stubborn) and like I said before, she ignores me unless I raise my voice. Taking things away doesn't seem to bother her either...I can't tell you how many times I have taken away her coloring book and crayons after she drew on the table for the hundredth time. I haven't tried "timeouts" yet because I was worried about her being too young. If I try this, what are the logistics of a timeout at this age? I've heard the "1 minute per year of life" rule, but how do you make them stay in one place? I've heard of using the child's crib, but I worry she would start to associate nap time with a punishment.

Mamas, what do you suggest?

(Prayer for this would be appreciated also...I struggle with losing my temper too easily so I am all too quick to raise my voice when Shiph does something to frustrate me. I'm working on pausing and counting to three before I respond but old habits die hard.)

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Bad, the Good, and the Amazing

I've been meaning to blog lately but life kept getting in the way. It mostly got in the way in a very good way, but some of it has been a bit frustrating too. Instead of "the good, the bad, and the ugly" let's do "the bad, the good, and the amazing" but in reverse so we end on a good note.

- Kirk is teething. When Shiphrah got her first tooth, she was at least 8 months old so it didn't seem to bother her much. She whined a little more than usual and woke up a few times at night, but other than that it wasn't a huge deviation from her normal routine. Kirk is not yet 7 months old and he is miserable. Today he woke up from his afternoon nap absolutely hysterical. He cried for about an hour while I held him and patted his back. And it was that pitiful, painful cry that makes every mother want to jump off the nearest bridge. So. SAD.
- I am having some strange health issues. I'm losing weight, which is not a good thing for me (my normal weight is about 98 pounds), and I've gotten down to about 89-90. I eat like crazy and I definitely don't eat healthy foods, so I can only attribute this to Kirk's voracious appetite and the fact that he's still nursing once during the night. It's beginning to worry me though, because I know if I'm not getting adequate nutrition I'm going to start getting sick and the start of the flu season is no time to be struggling with a weak immune system.
- Secondly on the health front, in the past week or so I have had a huge loss of energy. I feel incredibly lethargic, all of my muscles feel weak (believe it or not my arms are actually feeling tired typing out this entry right now), and I feel like I'm in a daze most of the day. Sometimes I feel like a zombie just going through the motions every day. Kind of like when you take a strong sleeping pill or Benadryl right before bed and then wake up the next morning feeling like it hasn't worn off completely. I have a few theories as to what might be causing this: low iron (I'm always borderline anemic), a thyroid problem, or maybe mono (don't know, never had it before). However, to go take the necessary blood tests I need to find a doctor. I have an ob-gyn, but they won't see me because it's been 7 months since I had Kirk. I've never had a primary care physician before and living in a large city and trying to find a doctor feels like playing eenie-meeny-miney-mo or flipping through a phone book and picking the name that sounds the nicest. My mom suggested going to a DO instead of an MD because they focus more on nutrition and natural healing methods, but I'm not sure I want someone telling me to change my entire diet. But if I still feel like this through the weekend I'm definitely calling someone first thing on Monday. 'Cuz this plain sucks. (Oh, and lest someone ask, I'm not pregnant, I checked.)

- Kirk is thisclose to sleeping through the night! Most nights he sleeps about 6 to 8 hours before waking up to nurse and then he sleeps another 3 hours. Last night he slept from 8:30 to 6 and then slept until 8:30! I felt like I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel! 'Course, it didn't help my overall tiredness much, but it still made me happy.
- The munchkins are learning how to play with each other more and more every day. Shiphrah will lay down in front of Kirk and make faces to get him giggling. Then they spend five minutes laughing hysterically at each other. It's so CUTE!
- Kirk is completely mobile. He's not "crawling" so to speak, but he's doing a belly scoot that gets him anywhere he wants to go. Of course, this means I am all too aware of how dirty the floors are because he gets positively nasty after just a few minutes of scooting.

- My wonderful husband surprised me by asking me out on a date for Thursday evening. He even arranged for a babysitter all by himself! He made tentative plans too, but we ended up changing them because I wanted to spend time with him instead of see a movie. So we went to Chili's and had their "3 course, 2 people, $20" deal. I love Chili's food...cheese fries with Ranch, cajun chicken pasta, a margarita...it was heavenly! After dinner we drove downtown and parked so we could walk the newly renovated stretch of the Riverwalk. It turned out to be a bit more than we bargained for (who knew the Riverwalk was so loooooong!) so our feet were a bit sore after it was all said and done. But I got a piggyback ride from a hot guy () and enjoyed a gorgeous night along a beautiful river. It was a rather expensive date (when you add dinner and babysitting) but so worth it. In fact, Avery wants to make this an every-other-week occasion, which I am SO thrilled about! Don't get me wrong, I love being with my kids, but I miss one-on-one time with my husband. I can count on one hand the number of dates we've had in the past year and I'm so excited about making them regular happenings!!


(Us, back before marriage, kids, and the police force.)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fair Weather at the Zoo

Friday morning we headed out to the SA Zoo to hang out with Kelly and her little boy Luke. Avery graciously offered to come along so that I wouldn't be struggling to handle both munchkins by myself. We have a membership, so we can just focus on a few areas of the zoo without having to worry that we "wasted" our money. This time we checked out the bears, monkeys, goats, tried to see the hippo (they are always cleaning their tank right when the zoo opens), and then spent the rest of the time in the little Tots area our zoo has. (Apparently it's the only zoo in the country with a special area for kids under 5 and it is wonderful!! They have several little play areas with lots of toys, picnic benches, several exhibits - groundhogs & tortoises, and a shallow "beach" for the kids to play in the sand and water!) Since our backyard has no grass and is full of doggy doo, we don't get to venture outside to play much. There's a park just a two blocks down from our house, but it comes with a mentally disturbed individual across the street that likes to yell obscenities at anyone who walks by. All that to say, hanging out at the zoo for fun is a nice alternative on beautiful days. And Friday, it was GORGEOUS!

"Umm, what am I supposed to do on this again?"

Hanging out with Daddy.

"Big balls! Big balls!"

"No, Mom, I will not say cheese, that's just silly!"

"Oh, okay, if you insist."

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Life Chain 2009

Our regular church event photographer was out of town this weekend, so I snapped a few shots during the Life Chain this afternoon. Unfortunately I forgot to ask someone to take a picture of me and the kids.

My niece and sister-in-law. The one on the right was adopted as an infant...she was a 26-week-old preemie (1 lb. 3 oz.). Her mother didn't know she was pregnant and after giving birth she tried to have her baby's life support cut off. No one wanted Kate because of the high possibility that she would have permanent physical and mental disabilities. She's a perfectly bright and healthy 8-year-old now.

My brother-in-law, Kaitong, adopted from an orphanage in China when he was 12 or 14 (I can't remember). He has spina bifida and didn't learn to walk until he came to the U.S.

My beautiful sister-in-law and my goofy daughter.

Kirk, who slept most of the time, until all the honking horns rudely awakened him. Still, considering how hot and muggy it was, he was a trooper.