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Me and my Family

Me and my Family

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The "V" badge

     Not too bad! We made it 2 years and 3 months before Ruby ever got REALLY sick. She has been sick before with congestion, ear infections and little things here and there, but Thursday marked the first time she ever truly was sick, sick, sick. And then, we all got it.
     This event was one of the true tests of being a parent. It is the first time I had to deal with ... you know, the "V" word. I hate to use the full "V" word in my blog because I know some of you might have week stomachs. Plus, I don't want anyone so grossed out they won't continue to read. However, I DO feel the need to talk about this event. Not because I want anyone to feel sorry for me, but because I feel as if I have just passed a test. The test called "Put on your big girl/boy pants and deal with the "V" word"!
     Now, some of you may have already been down this road many times. Some of you have "V" badge several times over plus many more on your Parenting scout sash. Don't get me wrong, I have earned some badges that I didn't even know existed. For example, the "My daughter has just chipped a tooth even though she was safely strapped into her high chair" badge was news to me. I didn't expect to earn that badge, but I proudly put it on my sash.
      Now I have earned the "V" word badge. I have earned it over and over and over. I have to say I was quite impressed with how I handled the "V". I never gagged or dry heaved! I cleaned it up off the floor without needing a clothespin for my nose. I was ready and prepared for each "V" intrusion with a bucket and wipes. I slept with one eye open ready to catch any "V" that might try to make a sneak attack. I AM A "V" WARRIOR! okay, maybe that's a bit much. But you get the point.
     So, What's the next badge to earn in my parent scout sash? Will it be "I didn't pass out when my child got stitches" or "I had to call poison control when my child drank a bottle of cologne"? Both of which my parents earned because of me (Although Dad almost failed getting the stitches badge. He had to leave the room). I wonder if I will pass the next test as well as I did this one. Only time will tell.
      I need a little heads up in what is coming. I'd love to hear what badges you have earned. I'd also love to hear what badges you helped your parents earn. Perhaps I can start training in advance for some future badges!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Pepper Experiment

I realize that I am very lucky when I say that my daughter LOVES vegetables. However, being a daycare provider, I am well aware that this is not always the case. Most kids that I have met or worked with have been resistant to trying new food period. I am always putting the veggies or new food on their plate in hopes that they will be so hungry that they will just scarf it right down. Most of the time I end up having them leave it on their plate along with the one piece they put in their mouth for 2 seconds and spit out. I'm NOT giving up!

Today, I out smarted them. I made an experiment. I took a red, green, and yellow bell pepper and showed them to the kids. I asked them what colors the peppers were. The little boy I keep( we'll call him K.) knows his colors very well, but Ruby is still learning them. We counted them (that one was easy). We smelled them and talked about it. Then I cut the top center part of one of the peppers out and showed them all of the seeds. And lastly, we tasted each color and compared how they tasted!

The kids had a great time! K. decided his favorite was green and Ruby decided her favorite was red. Both kids tasted and enjoyed the peppers. They even asked for seconds. I was very proud of their adventurous spirit! I was missing one of my crew members today due to illness, but perhaps when she comes back we ill try it again with her! Now I just have to come up with some other vegetables and fruits to see if today's successful experiment was just a fluke or REAL winner.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The many faces of Ruby

Everyday is an adventure with our daughter Ruby. As I watch her play and move through her day, I can't help but notice the new talents and skills she is learning. She is only two, but I see some very clear opportunities for her future should these skills and personality traits continue!

Motivational speaker
  • Ruby is always first to tell her friends that the block tower they just built is "AWESOME"!
  • Whenever anyone goes potty she is always there to cheer them on and acknowledge their accomplishment. "Yay Mommy! Pee pee in the potty! Awesome! High five!"
  • "I soooo tired." eh he eh  he eh he ( fake cry) Papies!  (a.k.a. passy) Papies! Wankie (a.k.a. Blankie) ! eh he eh he. I cryin'. "
  • "Ohhh noooo! I sooo scared!" 
A cheerleader/ very dedicated fan/commentator
  • "Gooooo SPIDERS!!!! YAY!  a basketball? he runnin' fast! and jump too high!"
  • "It's another Hokie Firrrrrst Down! Yay! a playin' football? Watch football?"
  • "ohhh no! fell down! he  okay? he okay?"
  • I wear spider hat! spider hat!
  • I wear Hokie shirt! Hokie bird!
A Doctor-several kinds are possible

  • "You hear that bird?"
  • Where Doctor? I put on doctor (aka stethoscope) !"
  • After I cough- "You okay mommy? all better?"
  • After she falls.- "Ruby okay!!! I hurted leg. You kiss it? All better!"
  • To one of the other kids-"I check your heart! lay down. bump bump, bump bump."
  • To one of the other kids-" I check your ears, I check your eyes!"
A composer/ musician/dancer
  • Ruby makes up various songs. Most of which have the same melody of twinkle, twinkle little star.
  • She loves to play her harmonica that she named "monica"
  • She loves to play the drums ans xylophone
  • She loves to dance. Currently her favorite songs are "Uptown Girl", "Party in the USA", " I like to move it" and "I got a feelin' "
  • She loves to sing into her microphone.
  • She knows the words and tunes to all of her favorite shows on t.v.
A professional athlete
  • Ruby is non stop motion. Running, jumping, rolling, wiggling.
  • She loves to throw ( but it gets her in time out a lot!)
  • She likes to swing things like they are a bat. ( It also ends in time out usually)
  • Ruby is really great at stealing the ball... and toys.( guess what happens after that?)
  • Ruby is getting good at catching and passing the ball with her friends. ( but only if she knows she is getting it back.) "Ruby's turn!"
  • Ruby is great climbing. ( I guess i don't have to mention what happens after that!)
  • Ruby loves to swim and to jump in the water. She has NO fear!

The amazing and also difficult thing about my Ruby is that who she is and what she wants changes by the minute. One minute she is very girly and playing dress up and the next second she is playing basketball and throwing herself on the floor. There is never a dull moment when she is around. She is exhausting! But what a blessing. It just takes one, " Luvs you mommy" and I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be. She is my daughter and I love her just the way she is! I am sooooo Blessed!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Is it ever okay to worry?

I am a worrier. I have always been one. So much so, that when I was in the fifth grade ( Mrs. Andritis'class) my teacher called my mom because she was so concerned about how much I worried about everything. At the time, the song "Don't Worry Be Happy" was a huge hit. My mom found a sweatshirt that said, "Worry, don't be happy". I wore it to school and my teacher said it was a perfect fit for me.

Not only am I a worrier, but I am also a fixer. I worry myself sick trying to fix the issues at hand. If I can help make situation better, I want to fix it. If I think a friend or family member is about to make a big mistake, I try to fix it by talking them out of it. If I feel one family member is mad at another family member, I try to fix it by getting them to work it out. If I have problem, if someone else problem, if I think a problem might arise, I try to figure out how to make it not a problem anymore. I want to be that listening ear, that voice of reason and the shoulder to cry on.

I have always struggled with that "Let go and Let God" saying. Let go? Then what would I do? I'd have to stop worrying and obsessing over what could happen. I'd have to stop trying to figure out what would happen if things happened this way or if they happened that way. My mind would have to stop being one of those pick your ending books. " If you want to see Jessica really happy turn to page 30. If you want to see Jessica flip her lid and have an absolute melt down turn to page 37." I have always told other people to just let God take control, but I was unable to fully practice what I was preaching.

Just recently, I was talking with one of out pastors about a situation I have been praying and worrying about. He told me that I have to stop trying to "fix it". He told me I can't fix it. He told me it wasn't my place to fix it. I had to trust God to do his work. And if I keep trying to fix it I am going to make things worse.Ugh.That was NOT what I wanted to hear.

This weekend I was talking with my brother about things that were on my mind. I told him about what our pastor had told me. My brother brought up a very excellent point about what worry does to him. He said that worrying about a situation effects his body ( and mind too, I bet) the same way regardless of what the actual out come is. He said that it is almost easier if the terrible thing that he is worrying about happening actually happened. At least then,  he could deal with it and move on. Otherwise the worry just festers and festers. He was exactly right! That is so true for me. I worry and worry and make myself sick physically. Why am I worrying and trying to fix everything? If the worst happens, it happens! I deal with it an I'll move on.

It's so easy to say. I understand it in my head. Let go and Let God. Now the application... I'm still working on that. So is it ever okay to worry? Is it ever okay to be concerned for a friend or a family member and try to help? Where is the line between being the Good Samaritan and getting in the way of God's work?

my racing mind!

So, last night after I finished my first post, I felt this huge sense of relief and accomplishment. It was strange to me that just sharing a bit about my thoughts and feelings was so freeing. I've written in a diary off and on through out my life. I have had prayer journals too. But when I was done typing and I had said all I could say, I felt a sensation I had never felt before. It was a combination of accomplishment, freedom and fear.

Accomplishment because I was able to start and finish my goal of creating my own blog in one night. If you have children you know how hard it is to do something from beginning to end without distraction and having to start all over because you forgot what you wanted to say in the first place. Accomplishment for being able to recall why I am doing what I do now and being able to put it into words that others will be able to understand( I think they will anyway).

Freedom because I was able to express myself. I was able to say more than phrases like "Do you need to potty?" or "No, don't put that in your mouth." or "Ah, ah, ah, get down. We do not climb on the table." or "Why did I put you in time out?" It was nice to have a thought and have a place to say it. Do I think anyone will read it? Who knows, but it's out there!

Fear because, as I just said, It's out there! And someone might just read it! What will they think of me and my choices? Will I say the wrong thing and get in trouble with someone I care about? What if they think my writing stinks and is pointless? What if? What if? What if?

All of these thoughts were in my head last night. Plus, I kept getting ideas of things I could share with the world. Therefore, when the alarm went off this morning, I was exhausted and was quite grumpy. It didn't help that my husband's snoring kept me from falling to sleep. But, I knew the real reason I was so tired was my own fault. I had opened the bug jar that is my brain and released my inner firefly type thoughts. They had been in there for a long time just looking for a way out and now I had let them free. Uh ohh. Here we go!

So, I prayed:

Lord, I want to do your will in all things. Please keep me from saying things that get me in trouble. Please take this blog and make it what you want it to be. Thank you Lord, for the opportunity to share my thoughts with the world. Thank you Lord for giving me the time to focus on my thoughts today. May this blog bring people together. May it bring peace to someone who needs it. May it bring laughter to someone who needs it. May it bring reality to focus for those who are lost or feel less than who they are in YOU! And God, if there is anyway that this could lead to easing a burden for my family either emotionally, spiritually, monetarily, or physically, Lord, lead the way. I'm walking the land.

I have laid my burden down! Hopefully tonight I will be able to sleep without thoughts racing.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Who am I and how did I get here?

My name is Jessica. I am a stay-at-home mom, an in-home child-care provider, a music teacher, a daughter, a sister, and a wife. Being a stay-at-home mom and a child-care provider I often feel a bit of isolation from the rest of the world. Not to mention, I feel I am loosing touch with myself. I have Facebook, and that helps with the social side a little. But I've been looking for something more. A means to talk about my crazy thoughts, my faith, my fears, the funny parts of keeping kids, the difficult moments, being a wife, and everything else that happens or is a part of my life. It's an opportunity to look at my life and revisit the moments that otherwise might be quickly forgotten and a lesson go unlearned. Time for me to S L O W D O W N and meditate on God's gift to me. My life.
I have no idea what may come of this. I have no idea if I have anything to say that would matter to anyone but me. But, right now, I feel God is wanting me to express myself and this is how I am going to do it.
The title of my Blog is "Walking the Land". I first heard that term from our pastor. After our daughter, Ruby was born, we went to our Pastor for council. I had not been happy in my elementary music teaching job for quite some time. When Ruby was born, it made everything that much worse.
The first day I had to go back to work was terrible. I had an amazing babysitter set up. I trusted her fully and knew Ruby was in good hands. But, I was going to be missing out on so much and I knew it. Not to mention, that year we had gotten a new Principal and she was not easy to adjust to. So, the whole 40 minute drive to school, I was in complete hysterics crying (probably not very safe!)and got to school looking a mess. Luckily it was a teacher work day, so I didn't have to explain anything to my students.
After months of throwing up in the morning before I left for work, my husband, Ben and I decided that I needed to get some peace about my job and about missing Ruby. I had wanted to stay home, but the money just wouldn't work out. Several people suggested maybe doing in-home childcare.We knew we wanted to do God's calling for our family. So, we called our pastor and set up a time to meet.
We told our pastor that we were considering for me to stay home and maybe keep kids out of the house. We shared that wanted to make sure we were doing what God had called us to do and not just what we wanted to do. We told him how emotionally unhappy I had been with leaving Ruby and how unhappy I had been at work. He told us that God says in the Bible that we need to "Walk the Land". If God wanted me to stop working in the schools and work from home, and we were praying for an answer and willing to listen to whatever it was, then we would need to put my name out there and see what happened. If it was God's will then "The Land" would provide the opportunity for it to happen. In other words, If God wanted me to be home, then things would fall into place.
And they did. We figured out what we needed financially to make it work. We talked to a friend who already kept children for a living. We told our pastor we were ready to see what happened when I put my name out there, and with in a few days, I had already found a family who needed childcare. By the end of Summer I had all of the slots filled that we needed to pay our bills and survive. There would be no extra's, but I could be home with our daughter and be a help to other families.
This is my second year of working from home. It has been wonderful and it has been hard. I still find myself dreaming of being a true stay-at-home mom. Where I could focus on just my Ruby and any future children we have. Especially on the hard days when the kids are whining or being too rough with each other and time out has been a revolving door. But if you were to ask me if Iwanted to go back to teaching instead of dealing with the chaos...right now, I would still say no. I am exactly where God wants me to be.
Now, things are starting to change. I lost one of my kids because her parents are going off to be missionaries. My numbers are lower and things are a little less stressful during the day. But this is not working for our budget. We have some money saved for things like this and we have been praying for just the right child to come along and fill the slot. I know that I can't pick up an infant right now because all of the other kids are almost 2 or already 2 and the little baby wouldn't fit in the mix. So, I keep posting my opening on FB and telling people I meet that I have an opening. But nothing yet!
And so... here I am walking the land again. Seeing what is out there for me to do to bring in the extra money we need. I already teach a small music class one night a week, but it looks like the numbers might not be high enough this semester for me to do that. I'm looking around the house to see what we really don't need that I could post on Craigslist. I'm putting change away every time I find it. I've considered posting an add on Craigslist for my slot, but I would prefer for my referral to come from people I know. But, I still have this feeling like something is coming my way. I'm walking the land. I'm digging into God's word for answers. What is He saying? What is next for my family? I'm walking the land.