Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The boundary lines

I'm not going to lie: lately I have been focusing a lot on negative things. As each day passes, I find something negative to dwell on and stress out about. Surely, in the busy life I lead, there are plenty of things to stress about and be negative about. BUT that doesn't mean I have to focus on them, nor does it mean there aren't any positive things going on either. We have had some quite wonderful things happen to us lately - yet I still find a way to dwell on the negative. As I was reading today's reading in my Everyday Bible, (one of my goals is to read through the Bible this year. I've done well and only skipped a few days, which is really good for me!) the Psalm of the day really brought this point home. The two verses are from Psalm 16: 5-6 which say:

Lord, you are my portion and my cup of blessing; You hold my future. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

These two verses just hit me right between the eyes today and I had an "aha!" moment sitting here in my recliner, drinking my coffee with my cozy blanket covering me and keeping me warm. I hadn't given much thought to the fact that the Lord has been our portion over and over again these past few months. Every time I thought we were going to go under, He took us in his hands and carried us through. What could have been a major disaster turned into a little hiccup. The best part of this verse is seeing that HE holds our future. Duh! Something I already know but forget on a daily basis! I worry so much about the future and about the unknowns and I try to plan, plan, plan so that every angle is covered. It's exhausting and totally unnecessary! This is not to say that a little wise planning ahead isn't a good idea, but we can get really carried away with it and start stressing out over something we cannot control today! God holds my future so I don't have to keep worrying about it.

I like how it says that the boundaries lines have fallen in "pleasant places". That just sounds so sing-songy and happy. But it is true. God has already placed the boundary lines around us and given us our inheritance which is eternal life in Heaven with Him when we believe in His Son who died for us. What a wonderful and truly beautiful inheritance!

It's just like God to bring a verse along in your everyday reading of the Bible to whack you against the head and make you realize how good you have it and how much He loves you. It makes me wonder what kind of blessing I missed out on the days I skipped...


Now for an update on those wonderful blessings God has been doing for us!

This past weekend we purchased a 1999 Honda Odyssey (mini van)! I absolutely love it! Even better is the fact that we were able to pay it in full and walk out without a single payment. Well, except for the "small" amount of money we borrowed from my dad to make the full purchase possible and that we will be repaying as soon as we get our income tax return money in. :) I have to say that this van was definitely a God thing. Ever since I drove my sister's Odyssey when I visited them in MA 3 years ago, I decided I wanted one once I was married and had kids. Fast-forward to us having to sell my Honda Fit when we moved into the house (so we could afford the $300 increase in rent) and Waylon started driving my dad's pick-up truck until we were able to get another car. The pick-up had no A/C or heat, or radio (it was stolen TWICE when my brother drove the truck). It also has to have 3/4 of a tank of gas in it at all times or you risk blowing the fuel pump which costs $400 to replace. Needless to say, we were very grateful to have a 2nd vehicle BUT it's dependability had much to be desired. Add on top of that the fact that when we started using it, it was mid-June in Texas with 95+ degree weather. Poor Waylon drove that thing all over the metroplex with no A/C in the hottest Texas weather of the year. He was a real trooper! So to say that I didn't have a very strong feeling that this van was "it" for us when I found it on autotrader.com is an understatement. We bought it for about $2000 LESS than every other Odyssey I could find that was around the same year with MORE mileage on it than ours. Granted, it doesn't have all the fancy bells and whistles. It's version with power locks but not the automatic doors on the sides (I was just a teeny bit bummed about that, but I got over it in half a second!). It was very well taken care of on the inside and the outside is almost impeccable! It also has brand new tires on it and a 6 disc CD changer. Our hope now, is that the PT Cruiser and the van will last us for several years as we grow our family. The cruiser is only 3 years old so it should last for quite some time and the van is a Honda, and we all know that Hondas last forever. Which is why I love them!

So that's one of the blessings lately...

Some others are: I finally changed my W4 to married and having 1 child which increased my paychecks by $210!! I'll get the first check with that increase next month and I'm looking forward to it!

Our rent is going down by $100. Yess!!

Our insurance is going down by $20 a month. (at least until the accident I was in makes it on there and then I don't know what will happen...)

On that note...I was in an accident last week on Wednesday. I was driving home in bumper to bumper traffic and was looking down and not paying attention when I rear-ended the car in front of me. Thankfully no one was injured. My car basically tore off the bumper on the other car (which was plastic and foam!) but did some big time damage to the front of my car...well over our deductible. So...our PT Cruiser is getting all fixed up this week and I was told today by the repair shop that it should be ready by Friday. In the meantime our insurance covers rentals so we were given another black PT Cruiser to drive. I forget that we're in a rental since it's basically the exact car we have. Moral to the story: keep your eyes on the road at all times!

Brooklyn is still struggling with sleep at night but we have discovered that she does like to sleep on her belly now. So we put her on her belly a lot when it's bed time. She has been sleeping with us lately due to her constant waking up and crying for long periods of time during the night. I'm afraid it's starting a really bad habit and that it will be hard to break but right now I just need to do what gets me the most sleep at night. Which is letting her sleep with us. And I still don't get great sleep because she moves a lot and takes up a lot more space than before. She also rolls over in her sleep which makes things a bit more tricky.

We still haven't mastered keeping the house clean OR organized but we won't give up or quit. I'm determined to find a way to keep things semi-clean and organized. There's got to be a way!

There are some interesting prospects for my future in teaching and also another path I'm considering pursuing which would involve going back to school. There is also yet ANOTHER possibility that would involve my love of the piano. I'm not ready to blog about all of that yet because everything is very tentative and I don't even know how I really feel about half of it. I may decide to go in a completely different direction next week so I'll wait till I've put more prayer time into it and feel some sort of leading. Either way, nothing would be an immediate change...they are all quite a ways down the road for me. Still exciting though since I like change.

There is a baby crying in my house...I wonder who it could be?? Someone isn't sleeping very deeply tonight...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The "fever" has passed

I was warned by my sister, among many other people, that I would miss being pregnant after having Brooklyn, which I didn't believe. I was also told I would probably look back at the whole birthing experience with nostalgia and even get baby fever all over again and want another baby shortly after this one, which I also didn't believe. Well, I did feel all of those things. At about 1 month post partum I began having fantasies of getting pregnant again when Brooklyn was only 3 months old and just not going back on the pill and having all my kids back to back. I also missed my big belly even though I was completely MISERABLE at the end. (gasp!) These feelings stuck around for quite a while. Every month I would secretly be hopeful that I would be late and take a pregnancy only to discover I was pregnant again! I actually did have a real scare one month where I took a pregnancy test but it was negative. I was having these little bouts of nausea and it was really freaking me out. Now, to be really honest, I was very hopeful that I was pregnant but at the same time I was thinking "How the heck will we get by with two kids on one main income?" and "How would I even be able to go through another school year while being pregnant AND caring for an infant??" These were all cautions in the back of my mind that never allowed me to fully enjoy my fantasy of having back to back babies.

Today I'm here to say that the baby fever has passed and none of those things are one bit appealing to me at this point in time. I'm very grateful that I have not gotten pregnant up until now (please God, keep me on this roll!) despite missing a day here and there of my pill (not on purpose, I promise! I'm just really bad at remembering to take anything daily...including my pre natal vitamin while I was pregnant). Even though my mind knows that God is in control, sometimes my heart doesn't remember that and my emotions get the best of me. God knows we cannot handle another baby right now and I'm thankful he has taken this desire away for the time being. The thought of being pregnant right now while having a very active, clingy, needy, energetic, lovable 6 month old at home is just exhausting! Put on top of that TEACHING and the stresses of dealing with 130 snarky teenagers every day and that's a recipe for disaster! Yes, I'm thankful to not have this strong desire in my heart that my mind kept telling me was cause to be institutionalized!

Do I still want more kids? YES!! I still want 3 more kids - at this point. We'll see as Brooklyn gets older. Do I really think having another one right now would be something we should purposely attempt? Absolutely not! If I get pregnant while on the pill, I will know that it really is something God wanted for us and knows we can handle. Thankfully, He hasn't thought that just yet!

Now that I got that confessional out of the way...

Brooklyn is advancing by leaps and bounds these days. She has finally gotten rid of most of her cold. That was miserable for all of us, but especially her! We ended up buying a cool mist humidifier to help with her breathing at night but also to help with her eczema (which she has also gotten rid of mostly). The moist air helps with preventing her dry patches from getting any worse.
These are a few things she can do right now:
- sit unassisted for several minutes and play with her toys
- jump in her door jumper. She has finally discovered everything that jumper has to offer her and she really enjoys it! I will have to take a video of her in it and post it on here.
- She is eating lots of different baby foods - apples, peaches, pears, prunes, bananas, and sweet potatoes. We will be starting her on stage 2 foods after her 6 month appointment on Friday as long as we get the go ahead from her pediatrician.
- Following along with the previous point - she'll be 6 months old on Friday! I can't believe my baby is half a year old! It's unbelievable!
- She can roll over from front to back and from back to front (although not very consistently).
- She can entertain herself for several minutes without noticing she isn't being held by one of us.
- She laughs more frequently.
- She "baby talks" very well. Some syllables I've heard more frequently than other are "be, be, be" or "bu, bu, bu" or "mu, mu, mu" and I've even heard an un-intentional "mama" come out. I think it's so cute with she talks and I try to encourage it by talking back to her.
- She likes to "hug" me by putting both her hands on the sides of my face and bringing her face into mine and burying it. She thinks it's hilarious and will usually laugh.
- She takes her pacifier out of her mouth and can put it back in her mouth quite well now - although not always successfully.
- She stands a lot (while we hold her by her torso of course) and her little legs are getting stronger and stronger everyday.
- She grabs her feet a lot and had taken to putting her toes in her mouth and sucking on them. I find this hilarious!

I'm sure she's doing more but that's all I can think of right now. I know, such exciting stuff! lol.

This week is finals week at my school and we started them today. We have 2 or 3 finals per day and the rest of the periods are study halls. They're doing it differently this year and I like it. It makes finals week a little easier for both the students and the teachers. The teacher pageant I'm in was post-poned to tomorrow night due to us not having school last Thursday because of the cold weather. To be quite honest, none of us understood why they cancelled school because there was nothing on the ground. The temperatures were down in the teens and I guess there was some ice here and there but we went out that day and saw maybe one patch of ice. Not that I'm complaining about a day off...but, it did take away one of our 4 day weekends after spring break which we all look forward too. Anyway, back to the pageant. Tomorrow night I will be performing at our annual TAFE teacher pageant. Each teacher is sponsored by a club or class at the school to enter the pageant. I am being sponsored by the Spanish club. In honor of them I will be wearing my HUGE sombrero and a Spanish club t-shirt for my talent act. I've changed the words to the only Jewel song I know how to play - "Dreams" - to be about an apathetic student. I think it's pretty funny myself. Let's hope the judges like it. The acts are meant to be more silly and funny than serious. After the talent acts, the teachers come out for the formal portion where we are dressed in formal attire and are asked a "serious" question. Based on our answers and talent, the best 4 are brought back for another round of questions and then one of us is crowned the highness of Boswell. It should be interesting. I don't plan on winning but it would be nice for the perks. The winning teacher receives the "teacher of the month" privileges (which I'm not sure what exactly that is) and some nice gifts. I will gladly accept all of that if they choose to honor me as the highness. I will be glad when it is all over though...it's been looming over my head and I'm more nervous about the formal part than I am about the act. I'm used to singing in front of people but I don't feel comfortable at all being dressed up and trying to look good right now. I'm not happy at all with my physical state right now. Wish me luck!

Now, lest you think I'm going to just complain about my weight problem and do nothing about it, I will point out that next week is the official start of the boot camp at my school for the teachers. We have our first information meeting on Tuesday and then I think we start the working out on Wednesday. It will be head up by one of the English teachers who is former military and was one of the cheer sponsors with me last year. I asked her if she would be interested in leading this and she was very excited at the thought. I am too! I can't wait to start getting my butt kicked! We have a lot of interested teachers. I hope we get a good turn out! Wish me luck on that too!

I will post pictures on my next entry - I promise!