Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's coming...

And there is nothing we can do to stop it.

Are you nervous about this new year?

Are you unsure if things will continue as they have been, or take a new path?

Do you have a long list of goals you plan to accomplish this year, only to find the list daunting and impossible now that it's down on paper?

Do you long for change but don't know how to make the change or you're afraid you won't stick with it?

Do you know things are about to change in a big, big way and are fearful of how it will all turn out?

You may have guessed, but these are all things going through my mind about the upcoming new year. 2010 was a very tough year for many Americans, myself included. Along with a bad economy making life financially more difficult, our family found itself in the midst of many trials. 3 car accidents, several trips to the ER, the loss of a beloved family member (my uncle Mike Rodgers lost his fight against cancer early Christmas morning), personal struggles, marital struggles, parental struggles, disorganization, chaos and just overall frustration. Yes, these are all things that happen in life, but for some reason it felt like everything came crashing down on us in 2010. I'm thankful to see this year leave and to welcome the new year and all the newness it brings to the table.

Our family does have a lot of changes headed our way. For one, I will be bringing another beautiful daughter into the world. Layla Paige, Lord willing, will be joining us sometime around the 3rd-4th week of April. Since I will be having a planned c-section this time around, it will be before my due date of the 30th but I don't know exactly when yet (I'm hoping we will discuss this and possibly set a tentative date at my next appointment this coming Tuesday). We are obviously overcome with excitement to welcome our 2nd child into this world. Brooklyn doesn't know what's going to happen but I believe she will be thrilled to have a "beebee" around the house (her word for baby). She loves all her baby dolls and I know she will love her little sister.

But with a new baby coming there are a lot of preparations to be made which I began over this Christmas break. I haven't made any huge progress by any means, but, I got a start. The logistics of fitting a crib and a toddler bed along with a dresser, organizer and changing table have yet to be ironed out!

I do plan on breast feeding Layla as I am mentally prepared for how difficult and painful it will be. I was nowhere near prepared for the frustrations and difficulty of starting the breast feeding process. I gave up all too soon and if I had a chance to do it over again, I probably would stick it out more. I truly believe it is completely the parent's choice of whether to breast feed or formula feed and I'm fine with either (obviously!), however, I would like to give my child the benefit the breast milk does provide along with the financial savings it brings along. I will also try to cloth diaper again since I quit a while back with Brooklyn. It was hard to keep up the cloth when I was the only one wanting to use them and the one who took care of her the least (once I went back to work). This time around, I will be with my girls more and working less and it will be worth the effort and time to do it (as well as the money saved and getting the use out of the diapers I bought!)

Which brings me to my next big change for 2011...we are working towards me not having to work full-time and being able to work part-time only (and hopefully VERY part-time!). I haven't turned my resignation in or anything of that sort yet. All the details aren't worked out yet and we will need to be very sure that this is what God is leading us to do. Right now we feel like it is, but we know things can change so we are keeping it in prayer and our hearts open. It's hard for me though, I'm not going to lie. I get completely giddy at the thought of only working part-time and getting to be with my kiddos more and actually feel like a real housewife!

With the new year always come goals and resolutions to make changes in our personal lives. I have for a long time had the desire (admittedly the desire comes and goes in waves) to make daily Bible reading and devotional time a habit that I can't live without. Sadly, I have failed miserably after many attempts. I always start the new year off strong and then, quickly, life's daily grind distracts me and I allow myself to be pulled in different directions and never end up following through. I think the longest I've managed was getting through February...how sad for a pastor's child! I believe that part of the reason I've always failed at this is because I go from not reading daily to trying a reading plan that is too ambitious and unrealistic for me. So this year I'm taking this challenge in a new light. I'm looking at two different reading plans which both pull at me. One is reading through the NT in a year along with Psalms and Proverbs (you read through those all the way through every month). The other is a topical reading plan that focuses on different aspects of doctrine. For example, the first quarter of the year focuses on theology, the study of God. All the reading passages focus on just that. I'm not sure what the second quarter is about because it has not been posted to print off. The passages of the second reading plan are shorter, so I wouldn't be reading as much, however, they are focused on a topic and I could easily make my devotions more focused and write in my journal with a purpose more-so than if I'm reading straight through a book, which lends itself to reading quickly and not focusing on what I am reading (at least that's MY personal experience). You can get both reading plans here at Kathy Howard's website (she's awesome by the way!). Make sure to look at her recent post titled "What's Your Plan" to get the links for the free downloads for each plan. I'm hoping that with either plan, and a lot of leading from God, I will stick with this and begin a habit that will enrich my life for years to come. Waylon is also joining me in a Bible plan and he will be using one of our yearly Bibles we have. It's a great habit we can do together and hold each other accountable to. I'm looking forward to it.

It feels good to write about my goals and hopes for the new year. It brings me some excitement, after all, it's only days away! How are you feeling about your upcoming new year? Please share!

Monday, December 27, 2010

This girl...

Makes me happy.
Loves M&M's.
Loves her rocking chair.
Makes messes constantly.
Is going to be an amazing big sister.
Loves to dance when any type if music is on.
Is a mommy's girl AND a daddy's girl.
Gives the best kisses in the world.

Will always be my baby girl no matter how many more beautiful children I have.

I love you Brooklyn Alivia Perryman!
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

My post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas post!

Once again, it's been quite a while since my last blog post. I keep telling myself I need to keep up with this better because I need to record all that goes on in our lives and Brooklyn's growing, but I just find myself so busy and worn out that I don't ever get around to it. So here I am, getting around to it. And what better time to blog than when you are laid up in the lazy boy chair, sick as can be!

I'm not even going to try to put a full update in this post because all that will do is ensure that I never finish it and never actually post it! So...I'll just put a few things and feel a huge weight lifted that I actually did something on here. :)

We went to New England for Thanksgiving break and spent the week with my sister Melissa and her family. My parents and my brother went as well so our entire family was there for the celebration. It was a lot of fun. It was Brooklyn's first big trip and first time to fly and I have to say that she handled it quite well. I expected a lot of crying and squirming on the plane but she really only did a little of that. She slept a good amount and played the rest. She got restless on both trips but never to the point where she was unbearable. Now I won't dread trips with her so much anymore.

We did a lot of fun things while up at my sister's. We went to the Boston Museum of Science, the Festival of Trees and went into NH to show Waylon where I lived for 4 years. We spent Thanksgiving day at my sister's in-laws and ate a ton of wonderful food. It was overall a great experience. Did I mention that it was the first, and possibly only, time my sister and I have been together while we were both pregnant? That was definitely memorable. The fact that we're only a month apart makes it even more fun because we're very close in our symptoms and stages. There was lots of baby talk! Too bad I didn't get to find out the gender of our baby before going up there. My sister found out she will be having another girl. The name will be Jocelyn Abigail, which is beautiful! Can't wait to see pictures of her!

Speaking of baby genders....I have another ultra sound coming up this Tuesday. I go in at 8am and have the ultra sound first thing. Hopefully baby #2 will cooperate this time and not stay curled up in a ball! I'm so anxious to finally find out what we are having this time around and I will be very disappointed if we still don't know after Tuesday! I'm 19 weeks now and I feel like I'm well passed the point where I should know the gender! My patience is wearing out! lol

Brooklyn continues to do and say new things on a daily basis. At his point she says several words: mama, mommy, dada, daddy, nanny (her name for the day care ladies AND my mom), wow-wow (name for the dogs), baby, baba, shoe, No (she is really good at saying this one!) What's that? (says this very rarely) and "here you go" (we've only heard her say this once to my brother when she was giving him a pen at church).  Her strong will is becoming very evident and it scares me sometimes! I think I'm going to have a very head strong daughter! She knows what she wants and does not like to be told that she can't have or do something. She has started throwing temper tantrums and is more curious than ever about all things around her. She sleeps very well at night and rarely wakes up before 6:30 anymore. She has a thing about shoes. She loves to wear them and if she sees your shoes on the floor, she will try to put them on you! So beware, if you're wanting to go barefoot, don't leave your shoes laying around or she will try to make you wear them!

I bought a new Christmas tree this year and I absolutely love it! It's a small tree, which is all we need at this time. It's 4ft tall and fat. I also bought all new ornaments for it this year and have to say that I like them the best of all the ornaments I've bought in the past. This year, instead of trying to be trendy and make my tree a theme (which I've never been good at and has never worked well for me), I tried to just stick to the tradition green, red and white with gold and silver and it really worked well! Instead of buying a tree topper, I bought some ribbon and made a big bow (with the help of my mom) and let the ribbon flow down the tree on the sides and it looks really cute! Maybe later I will get motivated enough to take a picture of it and post it. I've been really slacking in the picture department lately, I know. The problem is that I don't like my camera and it's a pain in the rear to charge and I can never find the charger because we don't have an official "spot" for it. I have major camera envy of my sister's camera but want to hold out until I have enough saved to buy a DSLR camera. That's my goal. Until then, I probably won't be posting a ton of pictures.

I'm currently recovering from a severe sinus infection. I'm not going to get into a ton of detail but let's just say it got bad enough for me to go to the ER on a saturday. The whole left side of my face was throbbing in pain and was like that for over 12 hours. I had finally had enough of it and broke down and had my grandmother drive me to the hospital. (My grandpa Woolbright is a retired military PA and he came over Saturday morning to check me over to see if he could help any. They stayed with me while I moaned and groaned in pain and cleaned my living room and kitchen!) I'm thrilled to say that, thanks to the 4 prescription medications I'm on and many neti pot cleansings, that I'm pain free this evening and feeling much better! I can honestly say that I have never felt pain like that in my face, not even when we had our wreck in July and my face was deformed from swelling and bruising. It was horrific and I hope to not ever have to experience that again!

On that note, I'm going to sign off. I promise to post a picture or two on my next post...I know, they sound like empty promises right now. But I will deliver. I still haven't uploaded the few pictures I took with my camera from my Thanksgiving trip. Nothing like a good case of procrastination!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas season!

Monday, November 1, 2010

It's been a long time a-comin'!

I'm gonna be honest, I haven't had the desire to blog lately. Quite frankly, between my job, taking care of my active toddler and barely attempting to keep our small house clean, blogging has seemed like one more thing I had to do versus something I wanted to do. To write about my life lately would end up making me more tired than I already am...who wants THAT?? Not me, for sure.

So I'm not going to write about everything that has been going on lately. I'll just try to focus on the exciting stuff...err, well, the semi-exciting stuff that constitutes my life at this point.

I had my 13 week appointment last week and got to hear the baby's heart beat. It was a huge relief! Since moving into the 2nd trimester and not having the nausea to constantly remind me of the pregnancy, it had started to feel like I wasn't pregnant anymore. Hearing the heart beat is always a calming affirmation that there really is a baby growing inside there! It did take her about a full minute to find the heart beat which worried me a little bit but she found it finally and it was loud and strong at 150 bpm. I confirmed with her that I will be scheduled for a c-section about a week before my due date. That puts me somewhere around April 23rd! That's the 3rd week of April so I will be going on maternity leave the week before that, which means I'll only work 1 week in April! Woo hoo!!

A week from tomorrow (Tuesday, November 9th) I'm scheduled for an ultra sound to make sure the baby is healthy enough for my flight to Boston on Thanksgiving AND to try to find out the gender. I am so excited about possibly finding out so soon! I wasn't expecting to find out till probably after Thanksgiving. We are hoping for a boy but I will be perfectly happy with a girl too! We have names chosen (I think). Boy will be Julian Bryce - the name we chose for a boy when I was pregnant with Brooklyn - and Layla Paige. I love both of those names and can't wait to get to use them!

I mapped out the rest of my school year last night to see just how many weeks of school I have left in the school year and what my longest stretches of work would be. At this point, things are looking great! I have three weeks till Thanksgiving break. After coming back from that, I will have 3 weeks until we go on our 2 week Christmas break. Then I come back for 10 weeks (with a couple of 3 & 4 day weekends sprinkled in there) until Spring break during the 3 week of March. After that, I come back for 2 weeks and then I'm off on maternity leave! It doesn't sound so bad when I map it out like that! Now I just have to get my long-term sub situation set up and make sure my disability is all good to go and I'll be all set. Phew!

I'm very much looking forward to my Thanksgiving break in Massachusetts with my sister and her family! We are so excited to see her two girls and Brooklyn playing together. It will be the first time for them to get together and play since she was 3 months old and only sat and slobbered everywhere. We are planning a trip into Boston with one of Mike's friends who is a tour guide of Boston and has offered to take us through the city. Waylon will love that since he loves history and has never been to Boston. We will probably take the T-train in, which will be a fun time as well. Other then that, we plan on spending lots of time hanging out at home and enjoying Thanksgiving meal at Melissa's in-laws, eating yummy food and hopefully playing their annual poker game. I do intend on taking Waylon up to Nashua where I lived for almost 4 years and showing him our old house and my old stomping grounds. I hope it isn't too boring for him!

Waylon has been approved to have Tuesdays off from now on. He is really getting burnt out working the 80 hours a week he's been working. He doesn't get to hardly see Brooklyn or me or his dad who is very sick and dying. He has no time for himself and it's really starting to get to him. He told all this to his boss today and was given Tuesdays off. I'm so looking forward to getting to see him more and knowing that he's getting some rest and being able to see his daughter more. Neither of us want this work situation to be permanent but we do want to get out of debt as quickly as possible so that we have financial freedom as well as job freedom. This job allows us to achieve all of this and we are making some major headway. This has been a great motivator for us and it has felt so good to pay of several debts.

I think this is enough information for one post. I hope it's as positive as I wanted it to be. My goal is to focus on as much of the positive as possible because focusing on the negative is not mentally or physically healthy and I don't think God is pleased by it either.

Have a happy Thanksgiving celebration month! I for one, am thrilled to be pasted Halloween and onto the important holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. My favorite time of the year!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I've got to get better at this!

I realize I have totally dropped the ball in the blogging department. I want to do better! I promise I will try! Ever since starting back to work, it's been hard for me to remember things. My brain is on strike and it's very frustrating.

I'm just going to type this post as things come to mind because that's how my mind works these days...here goes....

I had my first prenatal appointment on Friday. I was 6w6d. Today I'm 7 weeks. The appointment was disappointing just like my first appointment with Brooklyn was. They didn't check for a heartbeat or do an u/s like I was hoping. They asked me lots of questions and took a urine and blood sample. I was told that if I don't hear back in about a week, then I can assume that all the results came back appearing normal. They scheduled me for my follow-up appointment on the 28th which is a little over two weeks away. At that appointment they will check for the heartbeat for sure and I'm hoping they will do an ultra sound to verify how far along I am. I'll be just past the 9 week mark. I made sure the schedule it for the morning so that the u/s tech will be there (he usually leaves by noon). There wasn't anything too interesting about the visit except for one thing. When she was looking on the little chart to determine my due date based on my cycle, I asked her what the doctor's policy was about scheduling a second c-section. I had assumed that since I already had one, that I would be an automatic candidate for a second one and that they would automatically schedule me for one. The nurse got a strange look on her face and told me that this would be decided by the doctor as my pregnancy progressed. She said that if everything went fine and I had no complications throughout the pregnancy that my OB would probably just let me go natural. I was a bit shocked, to say the least. I had already set in my mind that I would be having another c-section. I had already started getting excited at the prospect of being able to set the date of that c-section pretty early on in my pregnancy and know the exact date I would go in to have this next one. I was perfectly fine with that. I was planning on asking her what her stance on VBACs was, but I did not intend on pushing it. After my experience with natural labor with Brooklyn, it just did not seem appealing this time around, especially if we see that I'm going to have another big baby. So...that will definitely be something I discuss in length about with my doctor. I'm definitely not one of the women who has their heart set on an all-natural birth. I feel that the ultimate goal is to have a healthy baby and wether it be by c-section or vaginally, I am still just as much a mom as anyone else and my kids aren't going to give a darn how I delivered them. And that's my 2 cents on that! lol

Brooklyn has been entertaining us daily with new things she does. She has started using her index finger a lot to point at things and to shake her finger "no" back and forth. It's extremely cute and funny when she does that. She will also stick her finger up her nose if you ask her "Where's you're nose?" I don't know how she learned that, but she did and it's hilarious! In fact, she did it just this past week in front of one of my classes at work. I ended up having to bring her in to work with me on Wednesday due to flooding in the neighborhood my day care is in. We had some major torrential down pours that day and there was major flooding throughout the city my school is in. Buses were unable to drive through many streets and it was just crazy. Anyways, long story short, I tried to get her to day care and couldn't so I went on to work because at that point it was the safest, closest place for me to get until I figured out what I was going to do. I ended up staying for my first 2 classes while they found coverage for my afternoon classes. My students were totally entertained by her and in on of the classes, I was holding her up front explaining an assignment when she stuck her finger right up her nose and started laughing and looking around to see how many people were looking at her. It was the funniest thing and my students laughed quite a bit! Needless to say, we didn't get much done 1st and 2nd periods that day.

I've been feeling decent this pregnancy. The nausea is definitely kicking up a notch, which isn't fun. I was given some nausea medication from my "cousin-in-law" (my husband's cousin's wife) who is due here in November with #3. She took them for her morning sickness at the beginning of her pregnancy so I'm going to give them a try! I really need something for when I'm at work. It's so hard to be in front of a class, dealing with teenagers while you feel like hurling. (nice mental image, I know). Of course I will call my OB and make sure it's ok to take these, but they are commonly prescribed to pregnant women for nausea so I don't think it will be a problem. I've also been feeling quite a bit of fatigue and had some mild cramping. I called the OB about the cramping because it was sharp and very localized and it scared me a bit. They told me it was normal cramping and that as long as I'm not spotting or bleeding, there is nothing to worry about. That definitely put my mind at ease! I can definitely see that this pregnancy will be more difficult to get through than the first because now I have a toddler to keep up with all whilst feeling sick and tired and sore (more towards the end on that one). I'm not looking forward to that part, but I figure, she's going to keep me so busy that these next 9 months are probably going to fly by!

I'm going to buy some new maternity clothes online from Old Navy because they're having a really good sale. I also need to dig out my maternity clothes from last year. I bought a Be Band today from Target so I can wear some of my normal pants for longer.

I also bought some new fall clothes for Brooklyn at Target today because they were having a great deal. It was $4 a piece for jeans, khakis, and colored pants as well as cute little t-shirts to go with them. I bought several of each! She should be all set for the fall as far as everyday clothes go. Now I still need to get her a good winter coat.

My house is a mess and I have not had the energy or desire to clean it. I did a little today because I felt too guilty sitting and doing nothing while Brooklyn was napping and my husband was out working hard. So I got up and did some dishes and cleaned our room up a bit. I felt better after that. I need to get motivated to do more around the house. I know I can't just sit around wishing the nausea and lethargy away. I'll have to work through it and get things done.

I think that's all I can type about right now. My mind is starting to wonder away from me which is usually a sign to stop.

I really hope to post some pictures very soon.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Gift

This was me on Friday, July 23rd after our wreck that God miraculously brought us through.

This is me, exactly 4 weeks later, on Friday, August 20th, in a much better place. :)
Can you see it?
Just in case you can't, here's a little closer view....

YES! I'm pregnant with my second child! I'm so thrilled for many reasons! #1, we really wanted another one. #2, I get to go through a pregnancy with my sister and we're only a month apart so we will be going through virtually the same symptoms throughout. #3, the baby will be coming at the end of April, which is perfect timing for school. I'll be done with school in April and have a sub for the rest of the school year! 

I'm due April 30th, but since I will most likely have a repeat c-section, it will probably be more like April 25. My sister is due March 31st and will also have a c-section so she will be more around the 26th of March. We will be one month apart almost to the day. My cousin's wife, Heather, is also due in March, on the 15th. So we will be having 3 new little ones in our family in the span of one month. We are all very excited and I'm sure you can imagine how excited my mom is to be getting two new grand babies in one month!

God knew this was going to happen and was in control the whole time. He is so good to us! I had no idea that almost a month, to the day, later, I would be receiving the news I had hoped to hear the night we were in our wreck after the ER doctor gave me a pregnancy test and it came up negative. It's humbling to think about. God loves us so much and does answer our prayers in his own timing.

I'm looking forward to my pregnancy and hoping for a healthy 9 months with no complications. I will obviously keep this updated and post lots of pictures like I did last time. We can't wait to find out what gender our baby is. I'm hoping for a boy but will be thrilled with a girl too! I can't believe I'm embarking on another pregnancy and hope to be more relaxed and enjoy this one a little more and be more healthy and gain less weight!

I do realize that it's very early to be announcing, as I am just barely 4 weeks along (4 wks 5 days) but I feel that God has given me this gift and if He allows me to lose it, then I will have more family and friends to pray for me and support me through the tough times. I also realize that if I don't tell because I'm afraid of m/c, then my faith in the Lord really isn't that strong, is it? I'll admit to being a little more timid this time since my sister did miscarry back in April of this year. That was a blow to her and to our family. We were all so sad for her but now we are celebrating in her new pregnancy! And in mine too! So here's to God giving me a healthy 9 months and a beautiful baby in April!

Maternity clothes, here I come!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Day Care Update, and other stuff.

Brooklyn had her first full week at Lil' Lambs Day Care today. She has now spent 2 half days and 7 full days there. I have to say that I am truly amazed at how well she is doing! My little girl is taking great strides in the sleeping and eating department. Before day care, she slept with us (well, "slept" isn't really the right word, it was more like she took naps throughout the night), took sporadic naps and barely ate solids. NOW, she goes to bed promptly at 7pm, without crying when I put her in her crib, she takes a solid, long nap from 12:30 - 3:00pm, and she eats everything in sight! She has become a voracious eater! I can't believe it!

I no longer dread bedtime like I used to and I have a couple hours at night to myself to do things I want and need to do...like write this blog! She has become attached to her sock monkey and will fall asleep hugging him. It's so cute. I had wanted her to find a bear or doll that she could cuddle with and  sleep with and she finally does! She will let me lay her down in her crib, without a peep and hold her monkey in one arm and her bottle with the other hand. Now I just have to figure out how to keep a blanket on her. She tosses and turns so much that she won't keep a blanket on and she always feels clod in the morning. I do put socks on her feet and she sleeps in pants and a shirt but I should probably get her some footed PJs soon. We like to keep the A/C pretty low at nights. Lately I have been super hot in my sleep and I wake up feeling like it's burning up in our room and when I go check the temp it's 73! But, I digress...

I'm very content with our wonderful little day care and am so happy that Brooklyn is doing so well with it. She will go full-time this week and next and after that, she will cut back to two days a week and my parents will keep her on Mondays and Thursdays.  I wanted to get her in for two good weeks to get used to it so that when she cuts to part-time, it won't feel like something new all over again.

On the work front for me, it has been quite a frustrating week. Our school built a new science building an is in a 3 year remodeling process that started last school year. They got quite a bit done over the summer but there is still a ton of construction going on at our campus and it limits where you can get into the building. They also took away a pretty big chunk of our parking spaces at the front of the school, so unless I get there really early and get one of those spaces, I'll be parking in the way back of the school and walking 10 minutes to get to my classroom. I guess the brisk walk in the mornings won't be bad for me as I'm trying to put exercise back into my life and daily routine. (my goal is to work out 4 times a week!) It took me a while to get my room put together. In fact, I was up there today, on a Saturday, finishing it up. I moved rooms this year so I had to bring all my stuff (which was very disorganized in my old room) into my new room. If you know me, I'm just not an organizer/decorator so it took me a while to figure out what to do with my room. I've got it "acceptable" for the first week of school but will be adding things to it as the first few weeks go along. I'm also going to involve my students because they are so creative and have great ideas that I would never think of. I just can't believe that my summer is over and I'm going back to work next week...WITH THE KIDS!! Everything is new and I'm starting everything all over again! At least this year I get to teach a new level of Spanish. I'll be teaching 4 periods of Spanish 1 and 2 periods of Spanish 2. That will break things up a bit and give me some variety, which I need.

I'm still a little disappointed at the things I didn't get done this summer that I wanted to. My house is still pretty cluttered which I planned to fix this summer. I still plan on having a garage sale sometime in the fall when things cool down. I have a bunch of stuff I just need to get rid of so I'm going to have to break down and have one, as dreadful as it sounds to me at this point.

Waylon is doing an amazing job as a GM. He is kicking butt with sales and his team has grown considerably. He still works crazy hours (70-80 hrs a week) but when we pay off our last debt, hopefully in the spring, it's going to have been SO worth it! At that point, I've told him he is free to quit that job, if he wants, and find something a little less taxing. I would also like to look into either working part-time at that point, or, finding a day care to work at where I can take Brooklyn and still get to see her everyday. It's really killing me to go back to work right now and not get to spend these long days with her so I really want to find something where I can remedy that situation. If we still need a full-time income from me, then I'll look into a day care, if not, I'll try to find something more "fun" for myself that I will enjoy rather than what pays the most for the least amount of hours. I really think I would still want to work part-time just to have my "me" time and feel like I'm still bringing in some "bacon" for our family. We are praying about these plans of ours and seeking what God wants for our family though, so next year may be unlike anything I can imagine! I'm very excited and hopeful for the possibilities! Until then, I'm praying to have a great year at school and that it will be a year for trying new things with my students and a very positive year. Having a bad attitude about it will do me no good, so I'm going to try and keep a positive attitude!

I'm working on my next post already. I think you all will get a kick out of it!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ramblings on my mind

It's been three weeks since our scary car accident. It still haunts me to think about it when I have flashes of it, but we are all doing well. I no longer sport a purple, swollen eye and the bruises on the rest of my body are pretty much gone. My mom ended up having to have surgery, which she did not want and didn't take well, but she is recovering very well and the pain is very minimal that she hasn't had to take her pain pills as much. I'm still a little jumpy when I'm driving but not near as much bad as I thought I would be.

I've recently joined LA Fitness and have worked out 4 consecutive days and am very proud of myself. One of the days was kind of a bust because it was spent with a trainer trying to sell me paid training sessions, which I didn't want. I just wanted him to give me an idea of a good workout plan for my wants and needs but I didn't get that. I still got in 30 minutes on the treadmill and a few laps in the pool though. I'll probably not workout tomorrow since I've gone 4 days in a row without a break. I'm really feeling a lot more serious about my working out this time. I hope it sticks when I go back to work. I would like to eventually switch to working out in the early mornings. I'm first going to try to get into the habit of working out 4 days a week then I'm going to gradually, one day at a time, switch to morning workouts.

I'm still failing miserably at sleep training Brooklyn and getting her to sleep through the night in her own bed. This is the one thing that I absolutely have come to dread everyday: bedtime. I am completely to blame for this problem and I know it. Every time I start sleep training her, it lasts for about 3 days and then I start giving in to her multiple wakings and finally get tired enough to bring her to bed with me. I never thought it would be so hard for me to just let her cry herself to sleep in her room. It has been nearly impossible for me to bear and now I'm at the end of my rope on it. But alas, I have a new plan and new encouragement from a new person that will be in our lives now for a while: Janna (pronounced yahnnah).

Who is Janna? Janna is Brooklyn's new day care provider. Yes, Brooklyn will be going to day care this year. There have been many factors that have led to this decision and we all feel that it is the right thing to do with her. 1) Waylon is no longer in school and working part-time like he was last year so he won't be able to take care of her at all during the week. This means my parents, who both work part-time, would be responsible for her every single day, all day. This just was not going to be feasable for them, plus it was going to be exhausting for them! She is a very active child now and requires more structure and activities and I can't put that on my parents while they still work. 2) I want Brooklyn to have a more set schedule in her daily life and in turn, I truly believe that this will help with our night time woes. Having the same schedule during the day will mean that she will be ready to go to bed earlier and have an internal clock guiding her. Right now, everyday is a different schedule. She goes to bed late and sleeps in late with us. She has no structure in the day and we seem to always be on the go. (Mainly because it is the summer and that's my only long stretch of time off so we have to take advantage of it!) 3) My mom ended up having surgery from the accident so she has a cast on her left arm and can't do things like change Brooklyn's diapers and get around like she could. If my dad were to have to work and leave her alone with Brooklyn for more than a couple hours, it would be hard for my mom to do what she needed to do. This is only a temporary problem but it still played a part in our choosing to send her to day care. As for where we are sending her, she will be going to an in-home, Christian day care called "Lil' Lambs Christian Day Care and Preschool."  I'm going to do another post just about her day care so I'm not going to go into any detail about it right now other than to say that God answered all our prayers for what we needed for day care.

We are a few steps closer to being debt free as we paid a large amount of debt off last week. Things are going to be put on hold for a bit though until we figure out our new budget with my gym membership, Brooklyn's day care and the fact that more will be taken out of my paychecks for my medical insurance. Apparently, for the past year they have been taking out less than half of what they were supposed to be taken out and now they want me to start paying it back! So no only will they be taking over twice as much as before, but also will be taking out an extra $109 for the next 24 months! ugh!! This is so frustrating. It's the second time they have screwed something up with my check. It should just take a couple weeks to get everything figured out and then we can get back on the roll of paying things off.

I will be going back to work next week for in-service and then the week after that, the kids come. This year, I'll be in a new room and will be teaching two class periods of Spanish 2. I usually only teach Spanish 1, but this year, I'm getting a little variety and I'm excited about it but also a little nervous. I hope all the changes of this year will make the year go by quickly and will keep my mind from thinking about not being at home with Brooklyn.

I think I'm going to stop here since this is getting really long. After Brooklyn's first three days of day care this week, I will write a post about it and hopefully have some pictures. :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Count it all joy...

Last week was quite a scary week for my family. I'm not going to recount the events in detail just yet because I'm just not ready to. In short, we took two visits to the ER: one for Brooklyn when she had a fever of 104 and the very next night after my parents, Brooklyn and I were all involved in a very scary wreck. It was terrifying and I hope to never have to experience anything like it again. Like most people, I was in my little bubble, going about my life the way I have always been, focusing on our finances and Brooklyn and trying to keep a house clean. You don't wake up and think "Today I'm going to get in a wreck and end up in an ambulance on my way to the emergency room." But that's what happened. One small mistake of another driver, and our world was turned upside down. My mother ended up with a broken wrist and I with a huge bump on my head that has now spread through the right side of my face where my right eye is turning purple and swelling shut. It's not one of my favorite looks, but I'll take it over being pale, with makeup on in a casket. (sorry for that gruesome image!)

In times like these, when you face the realness of how fragile life is and how quickly it can take a turn for the worse, it's so important to have your faith rooted in Jesus Christ. I know that it was only by His love and grace and power that we were spared worse injuries and even death. Look at the pictures and try to tell me that it isn't a miracle from the Lord that we came out as well as we did from this.

This is the side that was hit first that sent us into a spin, into on-coming traffic. Looks pretty harmless, right?  But that tiny little dent in the side of the car caused a chain reaction that led to massive destruction of not only my dad's car but the cars of 2 other people involved in this accident. 

Lately it has felt like Satan is out to attack our family. This is the 4th wreck our family has been in this year. I am the person who has been in all of them. Two in my own car while I was driving, once as a passenger in my brother's car and now this one in my dad's car. Not to mention the hospital visits we have gone through with Brooklyn and financial difficulties. Satan is really trying to shake our faith, but we are not going to let him! I still believe God is working in our family in great ways. I still believe He loves us and that He is our protector and provider. I do not believe that He has abandoned us. He is still in control and Has a wonderful plan for our family. If anything, this is reassurance that we are doing something right or Satan wouldn't be so bent on destroying us and breaking our faith. Our church has seen some major growth lately, Waylon and I have gotten into a good financial place where we have been able to pay of some debt and give more to our church. These are good things that Satan does not want to see going well in our lives and he will do things to try to break our faith and question God. We will persevere and keep our faith in God and continue to worship Him, even when things aren't going peachy in our lives.

This reminds me of a verse I studied a while back:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. - James 1:2-4

Is God testing our faith? Maybe. If we keep our faith though, the Bible says we will learn to be steadfast and this will lead us to being complete and perfect in our relationships with the Lord. This applies to any trial you are facing in your life, not just big ones.

I don't say this to elevate the status of my family and make us seem better than other families. I know there are others doing wonderful works for the Lord and not going through any major trials. God deals differently with all of us. I feel that God may be testing my family to help us with our faith. To make sure that we do not waver from Him, even when things seem like they are never going to be "normal" again. I will admit to asking God why He is letting my family go through so much lately and whining and complaining to Him. But then He reminds me of families who have gone through so much worse and I am humbled once more.

All in all I have to count it all joy because we are alive and well today and it could have been much worse! Remember this verse when you think you are going through a hard time in your life because it can always be worse and according to the Word, it is these trials that lead us to steadfastness and to a point where our faith in God leaves us lacking nothing.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A short update! With pictures!

I realize that in my previous post about the Saturday Spanish Sessions, I implied that there should be one last Saturday and then there wasn't. Sorry! I meant to say *next* Saturday, as in, the 17th of July, which now might be pushed back even some more because we are having Brooklyn's 1st birthday party on Sunday.

I also have my last FPU (you can read more about this on my FPU page up top) class on Saturday. We will be receiving diplomas and everything! I'm very excited about it. We also will announce how much debt we've each paid off since starting the class. We haven't been able to pay off as much as we would have liked to since April, BUT, we're about to start kickin' some debt tail!

I also wanted to post some cute pictures I've taken recently from our new iMac that we got dirt cheap from my brother. Enjoy!

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Coming on a Saturday near you: Stephanita's Saturday Spanish Sessions

Are casa and mexican food names the only words you know in Spanish? Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to communicate with someone in Spanish but you didn't know the right words? Ever traveled to a Spanish-speaking country but couldn't ask where the bathroom was? Have you ever wanted to whisper something sexy to your husband in another language? Would you like your kids to grow up knowing some basics about Spanish to help them when they take it at school?

If you said yes to any of those questions, fear no more! Starting this Saturday, I will be posting short Spanish lessons to help you, my wonderful, fabulous readers, learn some important, fun, hip and sexy things to say in Spanish. I'll pick a theme and I'll focus on that for a month or so until I feel that you have gotten the basics. I'll cover things like household items, greetings and farewells, street slang, animals, adjectives and even whole phrases. I will do this via video clips or audio clips, depending on the subject matter. I may post funny songs to help you learn a specific verb or phrase. Whatever it is, I want it to be fun for you guys. If there is something specific you would like to learn about, please let me know! I'll try to make a video session on it. My sessions will be short, 2-3 minutes tops. I don't want to bore you or make it too long with too much information but I want it to have enough so that you actually learn what I'm teaching.

If you have kids, I'll be doing some segments on phrases and words you can teach your kids. I'll also cover some learning methods that can be used across the board for most languages (in case your kids are taking French or German).

I'm very excited about getting this going and you can thank my sister, Melissa, for helping me come up with this idea! She's a blogging expert!

While were on the subject of Spanish sessions, you may have noticed that the title of my blog has changed, but my URL has not. I'm in the process of changing my blog name to "Mamacita Stephanita: Livin' la vida Gringa". I haven't decided my exact method for this yet so I'm leaving my blog under the Perryman Ponderings URL for now. When I do change it, I will give plenty of notice and do my best to streamline the change so that you don't have to do a lot to continue following me. I'll keep you all posted on this as it comes along. My brother, Bryan, is a graphic designer and is learning how to create layouts for Blogger (currently he only works with Wordpress blogs) and will be creating a nice design for me. I will probably wait till the design is made before I switch the name of my blog and then have one big transition. I'm very excited about that change as well and I feel that the name fits me more. What do you think? I'd love your input on this as well!

Hasta Sabado! (That means, until Saturday!)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Look at those bottom teeth of hers.
And that adorable smile.


                                             I could just eat her up!
So serious!
 Getting a little greedy there aren't we??

Blue eyes.

                                                                 These cheeks just kill me!

Ok, ok...I realize it was supposed to be WORDLESS. But I couldn't help it!!! I can't just post pictures of my cutie and NOT say something! ♥

Monday, July 5, 2010

Top Ten Things I HAVEN'T Gotten done this summer!

Top Ten {Tuesday}

I'm joining in the Top Ten Tuesday fun over at Oh Amanda's blog. I had many plans for this summer. I was going to do SO much and get all sorts of things taken care of! I was revved up and ready to go!

Then life happened. Waylon got a new job working extremely long hours, 6 days a week. I underestimated how challenging a newly walking almost-one-year-old is. I forgot how hot and muggy summers in Texas are and how much they DE-motivate me from doing anything. I forgot how incredibly messy my husband and I can be.

Soooooo...here are the top ten things I THOUGHT I was going to do this summer, but haven't...yet...

1. De-clutter my house. I had huge plans to start the week after we got out of school to get rid of tons and tons of "stuff" in my house. We have a bunch of it and we don't use most of it! I'm sick of all this "stuff" that takes up space and clutters my house and collects dust! I haven't gotten rid of hardly anything, at least not enough to really see a difference. This frustrates me. I have full intentions of still getting this done though! I'm not raising my white flag just yet!

2. Work out. I was going to get up every morning and take a walk with my daughter before it got hot. That hasn't happened ONCE! I figured that since she wakes me up early every morning that I would just get up, put her in her stroller and head on out and take a 20-30 minute walk every morning to get back into the exercise routine. Nope, hasn't happened. Most mornings I just lie in bed after she wakes and let her crawl trample all over me. She seems content with that and I get a few more minutes of sleep. She's even slept till after 9am a few times and that makes it REALLY hard to get out of bed and take a walk because by then, it's already up to 90 degrees outside!

3. Read my Bible everyday. This one I've done the best on of all. I have put in much more effort into this than anything else, but I'm still not reading it everyday. I've come up with a method/plan that I think I will like a lot and that will motivate me to do it everyday. One of my problems with reading my Bible and having my quiet time has been that I didn't have a plan laid out as to how I was going to do it. That leaves me all in a dither. I would read a passage and then didn't know whether to read more or meditate on what I read or write what I learned from it. I have very limited time and I need to use it the best I can! I would spend more time trying to decide what to do then actually DOING it. So I took some tips from a wonderful website I've discovered (Scripture Dig) and I'm on my way to a better quiet time. (BTW, I will be doing a post all about the information I've gleaned from this website soon!)

4. Done more activities with Brooklyn. Due to all my mommy guilt from working and not being able to stay home with Brooklyn, I planned on using the summer to take her all sorts of fun places and do a variety of activities with her. I have not been able to do that. In my own defense, I just recently (as in last week) had my van finally fixed so that I could use it on a daily basis. Until then, I had to either use my husband's car for the few hours in the morning that he's home before heading off to work, OR have my parents come over and get me, OR drive my van that had no A/C and that I had to jump start each time I needed to use it! Talk about frustration! That's enough to keep anyone indoors all day. Well, the van is fixed so I have my freedom back. What I'm encountering now is laziness on my part and the fact that it's a lot of work taking Brooklyn out to do anything. But I have been able to do more and tomorrow I plan on taking her to the aquatic center in Hurst.

5. Record songs for Brooklyn. You may read this and think it's weird. Let me explain. For a while now, I've been wanting to use the nifty Garage Band application on my MacBook to record me singing some songs for Brooklyn for her bedtime. They would just be simple recordings of me singing and playing the guitar to some kid songs and some worship songs and hymns. I haven't yet done that either. Part of it is because it kills my fingers to play guitar now since I haven't played in years and my fingertips don't have their callouses anymore. This is something I DO still want to do this summer.

6. Spend more "quality time" with my husband. No, "quality" isn't code for "intimate". I mean quality as in, time interacting and doing things that bring us closer together, NOT just watching TV.  This has taken a back seat as his new job takes a lot of his time and we need him to keep this job and be successful at it. So I'm biding my time and taking the little snippets of time I can from him until the time comes when things aren't so hectic and we are able to have a date night each week or every other week. It's been hard though. I miss having him around. Sniff...

7. Meal plan. I really wanted to get into the habit of meal planning for each week. I thought it would be super easy to do during the summer when I'm not working and I have a bunch of extra time. Psh! I'm so bad at managing my time now! Having no structure to my days has created a scheduling nightmare! This is something I will have to put a lot of effort into and be very purposeful about. Grr...

8. Gardening. I had BIG plans to start my own straw bale garden. I got the nifty idea on MckMomma's blog and I did a lot of online research about it. I even went and bought a bale of straw and cleaned out the garden bed in front of my porch. I put a lot of work into it. Well, the straw bale is still sitting out there. It's been watered a ton but has yet to have anything growing on it. Mainly because I haven't planted anything in it yet! I'm so frustrated about this because I really thought this would be a nice therapeutic hobby for me. But alas, there is not time for the garden.

9. Developing a weekly house cleaning schedule. I'm such a spaz when it comes to cleaning my house. The only rooms that consistently get cleaned are the kitchen, living room and my bedroom. Everything else gets put off over and over again since it's not in plain sight if someone were to come over. I wanted to develop a weekly house cleaning schedule so that every room got at least straightened up every week. I'm still working on this. Meanwhile, the same three rooms have all been cleaned multiple times this summer but I HAVE gotten to some others (my bathroom, Brook's room, the kitchen table).

10. Successfully sleep train Brooklyn. Our plan was to already have her happily sleeping in her crib all night, every night by two weeks ago. I'm embarrassed to admit that she still doesn't go down without me either rocking her or patting her on her back and that she wakes up in the middle of the night and I bring her to my bed to sleep off the rest of the night. I know, consistency is the key. Yet, I continue to NOT be consistent with her. It breaks my heart to hear her desperate cries when I leave her in there to cry it out but I'm starting to realize that unless I do that consistently EVERY NIGHT, she is never going to settle in to a routine. I'm going to have to teach her some tough love. Tough for her, tougher for me.

So there you have it! My Top Ten Things I Haven't gotten done this summer. It's frustrating, it sucks, but I know that these are all things I CAN get done, even if I just go at them one at a time. So I will press on in the quest to get these things done!

Countdown to the party

It's officially two weeks from tomorrow (Sunday) that we will be celebrating Brooklyn's first birthday. I seriously can't believe she is going to be a year old. That seems impossible! My little girl has experienced her first year of life and I remember her birth like it was yesterday. Wow.

I went to Party City for the first time today to look at decorations. My cousin's wife, Heather, is making Brooklyn's cake and it's a really cute pink and purple cake with balloons on it and a big cupcake (fake one as a decoration) that says First Birthday on it. I was originally going to do the pool party luau theme but we decided that having the party at our house was just going to be too overwhelming. First of all, I would have to do some big time cleaning and that's just not happening these days! I've had my mom watch Brooklyn for me a couple of days last week so that I could get some things done that were desperately needing to get done! So now we are going to have her party at the church instead. It is bigger, there is a play area for the kids, lots of chairs and plenty of tables and room for people. We are also going to have it on a Sunday afternoon instead of Saturday. With Waylon's new work schedule, it's just easier.

Now I need to go buy her a birthday outfit and her birthday gifts. I have no idea what I'm going to get her yet but I did go to Toys R' Us and made a wish list for her. I hope that doesn't come across as being tacky. I just know that sometimes it's hard to buy for little kids because you don't know what they have or don't have and what the parents want for the kid. Having a list will give them ideas on the types of things they can buy. I also included a wide price range so that money isn't an issue. Of course, bringing a gift is NOT a requirement for coming to the party and I hope people will come even if they can't afford a gift.

I just sit and think about the fact that my daughter is turning one already and it just stuns me. I canNOT believe she is already a year old and that I'm planning her birthday party! It's scary and sad. I have shed many a tear over this lately which totally sounds lame and cheesy, but I can't help it! Waylon and I have been discussing when we want to have our next one. I think we will be trying for #2 pretty soon here. I don't even know if it will be as easy for me to get pregnant this time around so I don't want to wait too long. I also want my kids to be pretty close in age. I'll definitely keep everyone updated if I do find out that I'm pregnant in the next few months.


My summer is going by very quickly. I'm already past the first month of summer break and only have 6 weeks left till I have to go back to work! Yuck! I look forward to summer break for so long and then it flies by! I have to admit though that my summer hasn't been quite how I imagined it would be. I know I've already said it, but being home all day with Brooklyn isn't easy at all! It's not as restful as I thought it would be. lol. I know all the other SAHMs are probably laughing at me and my OSC (one small child) but when you've never done it, it's a challenge! The fact that she is full-fledged walking now makes it even more challenging. We have recently bought an extra-long baby gate to put up between the kitchen and living room but I have yet to actually install it. Right now I have three kitchen chairs spread across that opening which is a pain in the rear. I feel like I'm constantly saying "No!" to her constantly because she is always getting into stuff she isn't supposed to. I think she's starting to think that's her name. lol

I've also not been able to get into working out like I had planned. By the time I get her down for a nap and I CAN work out, I'm exhausted and feel like I should clean something in the house. Meanwhile, I feel flabbier and flabbier everyday and avoid mirrors like the plague. I've got to start doing something about this. Either start eating healthier and count calories or start exercising. Something's got to give!

One thing I HAVE been working hard at is reading my Bible and having my quiet time daily. I haven't done it every single day, but I'm working at it and I at least spend some time, most days. I've also come up with a plan, which helps. I've been reading a blog called Scripture Dig that has really given me some great insight and ideas for how to have quiet time. I love that blog! I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to have a quiet time or even if you already do, they give great tips for studying your Bible.

I think I will do a separate post about the Inductive Study Method Waylon and I are going to be using to study our Bibles. It's very cool and interesting and I think it's going to revolutionize how we study the Bible.

I also realize I need to post some pictures on here. They have been sparse and I realize that. I'm just feeling lazy when it comes to uploading them to my computer and then editing them and putting them on my blog. Anything that requires more than 5 minutes to do has to be planned and fit into my schedule or it won't happen!

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Another new endeavor: What's in my coffee?

For a while I've had a pressing issue on my heart. I've wanted to go deeper in my Christian faith. I hear challenging questions being asked about Christianity and I find myself wishing I had the courage and knowledge to answer them. Unfortunately, my mind comes up short for a good answer. I think of all the "pat" answers I've heard throughout my life in all the churches I've visited on deputation. If' you've ever been a missionary's kid, you know how grueling deputation can be. What was really fun?? Getting to sit through dozens upon dozens of different Sunday school classes, learning the same lessons, old material and more pat answers. I honestly don't remember going to any Sunday school classes that I ever came out thinking "Wow, that was fun and different and I actually LEARNED something new!" Why is that? Why do churches not put more into their Sunday school classes? Why don't they invest in bringing exciting lessons, challenging discussions and really get their students fired up for the Lord?

I'm not saying that ALL churches have boring Sunday school lessons. No. Definitely not. There are churches out there that really put effort and class into their SS programs. I guess it's easier for everyone though when we follow the standard curriculum, teaching the Old Testament stories and doing the crafts. 

But what would happen if we really started challenging kids, teenagers, young adults and, um, older adults with some questions that would make their heads spin?! Wouldn't that be a nice change from the typical SS lesson? Well, I know one church where that is already happening. (yes, this is going to be a very small, shameless plug for my church!) In my SS class at GracePointe Baptist Church, we are doing just that. We do a variety of different types of lessons. It changes constantly and we like that. Sometimes we will do a video series and have a 45 min video with discussion time afterwards and sometimes we will discuss a book or a group study series. We've even just gone through a book of the Bible and studied it verse by verse. It's nice to have the variety. We're a small group but we have some pretty big discussions. It's been my SS group that has brought this desire to search deeper. We don't have enough time in an hour, once a week, to get as deep as we could so I'm wanting to take that further.

My new endeavor is a new blog I have created. It is titled: What's In My Coffee? The title sounds kind of silly, I know, but it does have a meaning. You can go over to my new blog and check out my first, introductory post about the purpose for my blog. My hope is that all my followers here on my personal blog, will also follow my new, discussion blog as well. I would love some input on some questions or topics you've always wanted to look into deeper. While my blog has a "coffee" motif and I will use humor and sarcasm quite a bit, I do take it seriously and will be putting a lot of thought and research into my posts. I probably won't have time to do more than one post per week. That's my goal. If I can accomplish that, I will feel pretty good. It will probably take me about a week just to put together a well thought out and informed post. I have no intentions of just putting my thoughts out there without something to back them up. This is a new thing for me so I will probably make some mistakes...hopefully not many though.

You can also follow me on twitter: @JavaWithSteph.

Please head over to my new blog and leave me a nice comment and a topic or question you think would be a good idea for my blog. I'll be willing to discuss anything just about anything!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sleep training: an unexpected surprise

This week, on Tuesday, we began full-on, hard core sleep training with Brooklyn. Since we stopped swaddling her at 5 months, she has taken our bed as hers and only occasionally slept in her pack n' play and none in her crib. At first, I didn't mind her sleeping with us. She wasn't rolling over and she was pretty calm. BUT, the older she got, the more she moved in her sleep and the more room she took up. It was getting pretty cramped in our bed with the three of us. So I decided that once I was out for the summer, I would sleep train her, thus avoiding going in to teach 137 teenagers on little-to-no sleep. Good idea!

The plan was to start it the very first week of summer break but that week we had our family reunion and I didn't want my hard work during the week to be undone that weekend when we stayed at the hotel. Then the next week rolled around and I didn't want to do it then either, so now, in the third week of summer break, I have finally gotten the ball rolling on this. The first two nights were torture. We decided to go with the Cry It Out method. She cried for exactly an hour the first night before finally falling asleep. She slept that night from 10:20pm till 2am when we tried to get her to go back to sleep in her crib, without a bottle. I went in there first to try to calm her down and was in there for 5-10 minutes, then I left because I saw she wasn't going to go down without a fight and I didn't feel like fighting. Waylon went back in there and rubbed her back and she got quiet for about 20 minutes but as soon as he would stop, she would freak out so he brought her back to our bed where she slept the rest of the night. Next night was about the same. She cried for a little less an hour and then slept till about the same time and we brought her to bed with us again.

We deviated from this the third night because I was out later and she was already pretty groggy when I got home. So I rocked her in her rocking chair and then laid her in bed and she went right to sleep. Since that night, we've done a little routine where I put on her jammies, give her a bottle and rock her while singing to her. I also have the noise machine on "waterfall" which is the same as white noise on other machines. (Mine's fancy. All the sounds are "nature" sounds. lol) So I sing to her and she has the white noise in the background. I rock her for about 10-15 minutes and sing pretty much the same songs every night. By the end of the 10 minutes, she is usually asleep or almost asleep so I lay her in her crib on her belly or side. She might fuss for a few seconds but has been going right to sleep and staying asleep until about 2-3am. We are very pleased with the progress this far! Just having our bed to ourselves for the first half of the night has been a HUGE improvement. I don't mind snuggling with her the rest of the night. We are hoping that she will eventually start sleeping later though. I do not give her a bottle when she wakes up at that point. I wait until at least 4-5am before giving her a bottle. She usually wakes up around then and wants one. She will actually point to it if I have one on the window sill. It's amazing how much she already knows.

I know that some of you who are great at routines are probably thinking this sounds horrible and that I'm not being strict enough, but for me, this is really doing well and I feel good about it! I do eventually want her sleeping through the night and not coming to our bed. I don't know when this will happen. Brooklyn is not a heavy sleeper and wakes up on her own several times a night. I don't know what else to do to keep her from waking since I'm already not giving her a bottle when she does. I know that if I left her in her own bed and just let her cry in the middle of the night that THAT might help too, but I'm just not ready to be awake for 20 minutes or more in the middle of the night for her to settle down. I can handle bringing her to my bed so I can get a little extra sleep. Call me lazy! lol.

What I have enjoyed about the sleep training is the time I rock her to sleep each night. That's been the unexpected surprise for me. I've really enjoyed snuggling with her and singing to her. I also take that time to pray over her. I always pray for her to have a peaceful night and get lots of sleep and rest and that God watch over her and keep her healthy and that she will be able to live a long happy life. I enjoy that private moment with just Me, Brooklyn and God. I pray out loud so that she hears it too. I also want to get to where I read to her but right now she just tries to eat the book and I get frustrated so I'm waiting to implement that. I want to get a good children's Bible with pictures for that time too.

So there is my journey so far in sleep training. If this post seems a bit discombobulated and broken up, it's because it has taken me 3 days to write it! Yes, I've not had enough time to sit and write it all at once so I'm writing a little at a time! Hope it wasn't too bad!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Week Three

We've hit the third week of summer break now and things seem to be winding down for me. The first two weeks were extremely busy and now I think I'll finally be able to get into some sort of routine.

There are still a few things that aren't working out the way I would like but I know God is in control and will bring these things to a resolution.

For one, our van is still giving us major issues. I'm beginning to regret buying it but my dad keeps reminding me that for the price we got it for, even if we put a couple thousand into it to get it fixed, it would still be a great deal. I will be so happy when the stupid thing is running right. The battery is being drained by an unknown source. We've tried checking the fuses and Waylon and I even looked into our owner's manual and took apart the dash to disconnect the 6 disc CD changer. We did this in the blazing heat of Texas summer (I actually went in halfway through because I had Brooklyn out there and she was getting really hot and sweaty and wanted a bottle) and that still didn't fix the issue. It costs $97 at Honda to run the diagnostic to tell what's wrong. We may have to just break down and take it there and shell out the money to get it fixed. They're going to be the best bet to find what's wrong. We've taken it to Autozone and Sears auto center and neither one has been able to tell us what's wrong and we've paid several diagnostic fees and have no answers! It's so frustrating! Once that's fixed, the next thing will be to get the A/C running. I've driven it a few times now and I'm tellin' you, it's a bummer driving a car with no A/C in Texas! That's a definite must for our car. But until the battery situation is fixed, we're not getting the AC fixed.

I'm still struggling with keeping the house clean. You would think that since I'm home most of the day I would be able to keep up on that but it just seems to not be in the cards for me! I've got to find things to keep Brooklyn more entertained. After her birthday she will have more interactive toys and I think that will make a difference. Right now, we don't have a lot of toys and she gets bored very easily with the few we have. She mainly wants to play with the remotes (the $50 XBox remotes) and my computer, or power cords or the dog food or cabinets. I don't understand the fascination toddlers have with those boring things when they have bright, colorful, noise-making toys they could be playing with! It doesn't make sense! lol.

My exercising goals have yet to come about at all. I haven't done a single thing (except for the rare walk around the block with Brooklyn) for exercise this summer and I've gained a couple of pounds. I'm really frustrated with myself for being lazy and not working out. It doesn't take much of an obstacle to keep me from it. Most mornings I'm exhausted because I didn't sleep well the night before so I don't feel like putting Brooklyn in the jogging stroller and going for a stroll, or even going by myself. Then, in the afternoons when I could go to the rec center, I don't have anyone to watch Brooklyn unless my parents drive all the way over, which I don't want to ask them to do just so I can go get on the elliptical for 40 minutes. I could do my Turbo Jam video in the living room but there's usually toys everywhere or Brooklyn won't stay asleep long enough for me to do the workout. See?? I told you, tons of little obstacles. I think right now my best bet is trying to get the 20 minute Turbo Jam workout in right after putting Brook down for a nap. I'll just have to make myself do it, even if it's at different times of the day. There is no way I'm going back to work in August bigger than when I left!! NO FLIPPING WAY!!!!! So there, I've got it out there and now you guys can pester me and ask me if I've worked out that day or not. Thanks!

Brooklyn is doing new things on a daily basis. Here's what she's up to right now:
- She walks quite a bit. She actually does it more and more each day and chooses to walk more than crawl.
- She's weaning off formula. I'm doing 2 ounces of whole milk with 4 of formula. It doesn't seem to phase her at all.
- She's eating a tiny bit more food than used to. This is still an area of concern for me. She's an extremely picky eater! Her newest thing is only wanting to eat whatever we are eating and it has to be from our plate. If I sit her in her high chair and fix her a bit of what I'm eating and try to give it to her on her tray, she won't eat it. It has to come from my plate or she thinks she's getting something different and will shake her head "no" to it! Little stinker! She's too smart!
- She shakes her head "no" now when you ask her a question and she doesn't want to do/eat whatever you are asking her. She has also started shaking her head "yes" but I don't think she knows what it means yet.
- She just yesterday started saying "uh oh". I think this is influence from her cousin Cooper who is a pro at saying it.
- She "talks" while playing and you can tell she really thinks she's saying something important. It's so cute!
- She has started trying to click her tongue.
- She claps anytime she hears anyone clapping, even if it's on TV. It's hilarious when we're watching a show and they clap on it and she starts clapping and getting excited as if she knows why we are clapping.
- She still wants to crawl around and put every little crumb or speck on the floor in her mouth.
- She LOVES to swim! We took her to the aquatic center in Hurst and she absolutely loved it! When we were in deeper water, she wanted me to let go of her and was trying to squirm out of my grip! I couldn't believe it. She just took off in the shallow, kiddie pool area and wasn't afraid of anything. It was fun watching her. Her swimsuit is cute too. ;)
- She'll point to things she wants now, especially her bottle. She says "bah-boo" which sounds like bottle but I don't think that's what she means b/c she says it constantly and not just when she sees her bottle.
- She will try to imitate you if you open your mouth or make noises with your mouth or raise your hands.
- She can suck out of a straw.

Those are the highlights right now of her development. I have been horrible at putting them in her baby book! I feel so guilty about that and I need to sit down and catch up with it. Thankfully I have Facebook and my blog to look back and remember what she did at what age! Oh technology, how I love you!

I did two caterings last week at Bartley's (where my mom works and where I used to work) and with that money (or knowing it was coming this week), I went shopping on Sunday and finally bought myself some new clothes! It felt so good! I got quite a bit for the money I spent. I got two pairs of comfy shorts, one black and one tan, and a pair of comfy, brown capris. Then I got several summer tops that were really cute. I didn't pay more than $10 on any single item and most of them were around $5-8. I only bought things that I tried on and really liked and knew that I would wear them a lot and they were comfortable. All the shorts and pants I got had elastic waist. Yes, I'm THAT person now. The person who only wears elastic waisted clothes. I don't care. I'm tired of pants squeezing my gut and trying to be comfortable in UN-comfortable clothes. I'm all about comfort now, more than ever, so elastic it is! These are also all clothes that if I lost a few pounds by the time school started, they would still fit me, especially if I wash and dry them and they shrink a little.

I'm feeling more optimistic about the summer. I will get better at this staying at home thing. I've decided to read through the book of John for my quiet time right now. I got an idea for a reading plan from this website that gives a good reading plan for beginners or people who don't know where to start in the Bible. It doesn't give a day by day plan but an order of which books to read. I'll be doing this at my own pace and I'm excited about it!

Now I'm going to go to Walmart with my mom and buy a noise machine for Brooklyn. We have got to get serious about sleep training her and I hear noise machines are a life saver in this area. So off we go!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dear Dad,

Thank you for being such a wonderful father. You have lived your life putting God and your family first. You have persevered through tough times in your personal life and in your ministry but have always trusted the Lord through it all and became a stronger man and better father. I could not have asked for a more loving and supportive father than I have in you.

Any time any of us kids ever wanted to do something, you always encouraged us to try it (and sometimes had to actually push SOME of us to do it...ahem...Bryan...not mentioning any names though...). You were a good teacher and mentor and pastor. You've been my pastor since I was born and I can honestly say I've never wished otherwise. We have always looked up to you and believed you were always on our side, watching out for us, loving us, forgiving us and taking us in your arms and comforting us when needed. Through all my personal "issues" that I went through, I always knew that no matter what happened, you and mom would always help me and love me and forgive me. For that, I am forever grateful. He, in all His wisdom, put me with a father and mother who knew exactly what I needed in my parents. Thank you for loving me so much.

On this Father's Day I want you to know how much all of us kids (and your grandkids) love you. I hope you enjoy your day and that we have many more Father's Days to come to spend with you.

We love you!


Stephanie, Waylon and Brooklyn

You will always be the first #1 man in my life. 

Summer thus far: The second week

I'm in my second week of summer break and it hasn't felt like much of a break yet! I've been busy, busy, busy!! I knew it would be like this at the beginning and I would actually prefer if it stayed a little busy because I will get bored if I have any lulls.

Last week was a week of getting the house projects underway. I did lots of loads of laundry, some yard work, started my garden (which I will do a post all of it's own with pictures), cleaned house, and went to the Ross family reunion. We had a lot of fun at the reunion and I will write about that more in a moment.

Waylon also finally started his new job selling Verizon service door-to-door. It is a straight commission job, but he is selling something that people actually want and has a famous brand name. He is good at sales and enjoys it as well so I think he will do really well with this. He already made 5 sales just on Wednesday and Thursday when we went out on his own. Today he made 2. This is a good start and I'm happy to see my husband doing something he enjoys and that challenges him! It's also going to relieve some of the financial stress in our lives.

I've enjoyed getting to spend A LOT more time with Brooklyn. I'll admit that during the school year while I worked, I felt more like a "part-time mom" since I was the person who got to spend the least amount of time with her. It was really depressing and some days I just didn't want to get out of bed. That also might have had to do with the fact that I struggled a bit with contentment at my job. Those two things coupled together are not conducive to having an upbeat spirit! The good news is, that even though I'm losing a wonderful colleague and close friend who has to move for her husband's job, I've renewed my spirits for work next year. I'm refusing to let my job bring me down. This attitude change has a lot to do with a series of sermons my dad has preached about being content with your work and how to have a more fulfilling life at your job. I realize I just went off on a rabbit trail. I was talking about the joys of being a SAHM for the summer with Brooklyn. Things haven't quite been what I expected them to be. It's a lot more work than I thought it would be, but it has been very rewarding. The fact that my daughter is actually getting attached to me is a great thing! That's not to say that she wasn't before, but now I feel more of a bond with her since we've spent so much time together. I'm starting to understand her better and see her little personality coming out in full force!

The past two weeks has also brought me to see a few things about myself. I will never be an organized person! For some reason I thought that motherhood brings on a sixth sense of organization and that suddenly you are able to keep the house organized and everything in it's place. That couldn't be farther from the truth. In fact, it's even harder to do! I start something and get interrupted so I drop that and go tend to the baby. Once she's entertained again, I start on something else that has caught my eye, only to have to drop that to go tend to the baby again. The cycle goes on and on until there are several things laying around the house that I never finished and now have created a mess! It's frustrating, but I'm learning.

In a few minutes my dad will be getting here to to watch Brooklyn as I go to my Financial Peace University class...alone. Waylon will no longer be going with me because his job requires him to work every Saturday. They want him to work 9-9 and I said absolutely not! He is going to speak with his boss today about that. As if the 60 hours during the week aren't enough!!!!

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer! I will have a post all about my garden experience and Brooklyn's upcoming 1 year birthday. I want to get to blogging more, I always feel better after writing about things.

Monday, May 31, 2010


So I realize it has been a very long time since I blogged last. I also realize I haven't posted pictures in quite some time either. So I'll be giving an update on things and posting some pictures on here.

First, I want to update on how things have been going in our lives the past month. One of the reasons I haven't posted (and the reason for the title of my post) is that I've been in a funk of sorts. When I'm in a funk, I lose all desire to blog. The funk has many reasons behind it, none of which are an excuse to let myself fall into this funk and forget that God is always in control.

We have had many things happen lately that have been neither fun nor easy. It all started about a month and a half ago when the van's battery kept dying. I had to jump start it almost every morning and then get jump started at work before coming home. That was a pain. Then we discovered that the AC in the van did not work either and that it will cost somewhere between 1000-1500 dollars to get fixed. Bummer. We don't have that kind of money laying around.

On the Saturday before mother's day Brooklyn ingested an anti-depressant at my in-laws that she found on the floor and no one saw her swallow. By the time Waylon got her home to me, I could tell something was very wrong with her. She usually fights sleep to the end and I couldn't keep her awake when I took her out of her car seat. She was very groggy and her head was bobbing around. After waiting and observing a few minutes to see if she was just working her way out of a very deep sleep, we realized this was more than that and Waylon called his mom to see what she could have swallowed. We got the name and strength of the pill and called the ER who then referred us to Poison Control who then told us to go immediately to the ER, they would call ahead so the ER would be waiting for us. That was a very scary drive. I sat in the back with her and tried to keep her awake and it wasn't easy. Waylon drove as carefully and fast as possible. It was a whirlwind of activity once we got there and I don't want to relive all that. They confirmed through a urine test that she did indeed have the drug in her system and then called Cook's Children's to bring an ambulance to take us there for an overnight observation stay. We later found out (at Cook's) that this particular drug is very dangerous to toddlers and can kill a toddler with just one pill. I'm glad I didn't know that until the end when they had already assessed that she would be ok and just needed to sleep it off. We were at Cook's until noon on Mother's Day. I was never more happy to get home and see Brooklyn being her loud, active self. We spent the night at my parent's house that night as well to get some extra sleep and help with her since we were both exhausted from sharing a twin size bed in the room at the hospital.

A week and a half later, we were in a wreck. We were T-boned on a busy street near our house while I was making a left turn into a shopping center. All three of us were in the car but thankfully Brooklyn was in her car seat behind the driver's side and we were hit on the passenger's side. Waylon was sitting in the passenger seat and if he hadn't had his seat belt on he would have jumped over into my lap. He screamed the loudest, only to be out-screamed by Brooklyn after the initial impact. It scared her quite a bit. I jumped out of the car as soon as we stopped (we hadn't even moved the car out of the street) and got Brooklyn out and she didn't have a single scratch or bump on her (Praise the Lord!). No one was hurt, save a bruise on my knee and a crick in my neck. The girl who hit us was very young and was crying. She started crying when she saw me pull Brooklyn out of the car. She was so afraid she had hurt the baby. I assured her that Brooklyn was fine and we asked her if she was ok and she said she was. I think her leg was hurting a bit. The cops came and looked everything over and we were actually able to drive our car home. Both doors on the passenger side were un-usable. We got a rental and turned the car in the next day. We still have the rental but are hoping our PT Cruiser will be ready either tomorrow or Wednesday. Wrecks are a pain in the rear, but if no one is hurt in the end, it's really not that big of a deal. We could have walked away a lot worse than we did and like the cop said, that's why we have insurance, to cover these risks.

Around the same time as our wreck, we got a notice of disconnection in the mail from our electric company stating we owed almost $500 and that if it wasn't paid by May 17, we would have our electricity disconnected. The due date on the notice said that the payment was due on April 24th, but we got the notice in the mail on May 4th. Everything about this was off. We had been paying our bill every month so I didn't know where they were getting this amount that we owed. We called them immediately and found out that b/c of our dogs and the fact that our gate was locked to the back yard, the meter guy had not read our meter and had estimated our usage and they billed us an estimated amount based on previous month's usages. The notice was the difference of the three months that were estimated and what  our actual usage had been. There was a lot of tension and going back and forth trying to place blame on someone as to why they had been able to read our meters in previous months but then for January through March they had not been able to. It all came down to the fact that they could do nothing to help us and we were going to have to make payments. So now, we're on another payment plan to get caught up with our electric bill.

We are still paying off the tickets Waylon has gotten.

I was sick for 2 days in April (like really sick, not just a little) and stayed home from work even though I didn't have any PTO. Because of this, my paycheck was $500 less than normal. You can imagine what a dent that puts in your budget when you just got started on making a strict budget and have places planned for every cent that comes into the bank. Thankfully, Waylon's pay check was quite a bit bigger than normal because he got a lot of subbing in March and April. This helped make the difference. We are making it work and finding that we can live on much less than we thought we could. God is providing for us and keeping us on our feet during this financial time.

Now, lest you think that only bad things have happened, let me make sure you know that we have had our share of blessings lately as well.

Waylon will start a new job tomorrow! He will be working for a company called 20/20 who is a marketing brach of sorts for all the major cable/internet/phone companies. He will be going door to door to sell the Verizon plans. He likes sales and he is good at it so I think this will be a great fit for him. He also turned in an application for a dispatcher for one of the police departments here. This will be a long application process though as he has to pass tests and stuff to be a 911 dispatcher. It's a salaried position though that pays very well and would be a huge help for our getting out of debt plan.

Another good thing is that Brooklyn has begun taking steps! She's such a big girl! She's growing like a weed. I'm going to do a whole post about her later though so I won't say much about her now. I will post a couple of pictures of her though:

                                                                She loves to craw...

                                                      A new favorite way to sit

                                        This one is just so precious to me, I had to put it on here.

I hope this makes up for the lack of posting. I'm coming out of my funk and will hopefully be posting on a regular basis again. This is my last week of work and then I'll have a whole summer ahead of me to do lots of fun things with Brooklyn and have a lot of mother-daughter bonding time.

Can't wait till Friday!!