Because the Kiddo wants to share his videos

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Temple Trip

Last night my husband and I made it to the temple. It is the first time we have gone in a year. We have our excuses. The temple is an hour and a half away. We were new to the area and didn't know anyone well enough to ask them to babysit D for the 5 and 1/2 hours the trip would take. But I am thankful for a good friend who volunteered to watch D so we could finally make it out. I am so glad we went.

Waiting for the temple session to start, I felt an overwhelming love for my husband. I always love him, but it was a strong confirmation that I made the right decision in marrying him. Also, I had an overwhelming thankfulness for my family of three. I am greatly blessed.

I have been looking at my infertility all wrong. I have been looking at it as our choice to keep trying or to stop trying. It has been my choice on how much money and emotions and time to pour into conceiving. I worried I made the wrong choice to not keep trying to have a baby. I thought my choices would affect whether we would have another baby or not. I realized that this way of thinking is not exactly accurate. It is not a choice of mine. The choice as been made. The Lord has given me a trial. I can only choose how I react to this trial. I was thinking that if I searched out more and more medical help, I could change that. And that may be the case for some people, but I knew deep down it wasn't what was in store for us, at least not at this time.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things.
Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God? (D&C 6:22-23)
 I had been looking at it like I was missing out on blessings by not being able to bear more children. I realize now that I have it all wrong.  I have been greatly blessed to have a son. Knowing how hard it has been this time around and how much is working against us, I am in awe that we easily conceived the first time after only 6 months of only medication. I feel the Lord granted me this blessing. D was our own small miracle.
"Be still, and know that I am God."
Ps. 46:10

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Our Preschool "Curriculum"

I use the word curriculum lightly. Most it is books/info we are going to start using for preschool time in the mornings.  First up:
We bought this book a while a go. We have started it, but never stuck with it. I think we is one of the more traditional/scheduled parts of what I am planning. I have heard great things about the book, and my son D is ready to read. Along with learning to read using this book, we will continue to read books during the day. We read a lot of library books and books we own. Also, at night we read chapter books. Recently we read "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." It was fun that he was able to understand well enough to notice the differences in the book and the movie. 

Next, some books for science:

I don't plan on starting at the front and just following the books through, but they are a great resource. D has especially loved the human body encyclopedia. He likes to look through it and ask about the different pictures. Today we talked about what parts of his body comes in pairs. We also read a lot of children's books from the library and also buy some of the good ones. I have recently discovered The Cat in the Hat's Learning Library. D loves those. We don't own any yet, but I think they might be purchase worthy.

For math we have been using easy workbooks made for pre-k/k. Plus activities like playing with money, using a geoboard to play with shapes, etc.

For writing we will soon be doing the assignments in "Teach Your Child To Read." We also use a workbook that has a lot of tracing. He enjoys it, and it helps a lot with his fine motor skills. He is going though it so fast, I think it might only last a month. I might have to take him to the the local teacher store and get some new ones.

I also have some great things from Confessions of a Homeschooler, such as days of the week, weather, practice writing sheets, etc.

Everything else we find from great blogs I follow. I'll have to share some of my favorites in the future. Although we have been "doing school," as D calls it, off and on for a while, Monday we are scheduled to start a more consistent schedule. Wish me luck!

Monday, August 22, 2011

My Happiness Project

So it has been 3 weeks since starting my happiness project.  I thought I would update anyone who may be reading this. It is going pretty well. I have been working hard to take time to not only read my scriptures, but to really study them and mark them up. I have been using "Preach My Gospel" to decide on different topics and use the scriptures they suggest. I have really enjoyed it and have learned a lot. I will admit I have missed a few nights. There are no excuses, but I am going to try and be more diligent.

I read a blog post about scripture study that I loved. It was written by The Red Headed Hostess. If you get a chance, you should really read over it. I don't think it is the type of scripture study I can just jump into, so I am slowly wading in. My husband recently showed me how to use the scriptures app on my iPad to its full potential. It allows me to make note, easily cross reference, etc. I am excited to try out Shannon's type of study a little more with it. I hope to be able to record more thoughts and feels about what I am reading.

Also, talking about recording thoughts and feelings, I have had what I call a "gospel journal" for about a year now. It is just a composition book that I write in from time to time. I write thoughts or experiences that strengthen my testimony of our Savior. There are times I will write it is a few times a month, then I won't write in it for months.  I think for the next few weeks of my Happiness Project I am going to use my gospel journal more. I know the Lord is involved with our daily life. I want to be more aware of this.

My Happiness Project Goal: My goal is two fold. First is a continuation from my last goal. I am going to keep up my scripture study, hopefully not missing any days, but I want to step it up a notch.  I am going to use my nifty scriptures app to record my thoughts and feelings about what I am reading.  My second goal is to be more aware of the hand of the Lord in my life. I plan on taking time each Sunday to write in my gospel journal.

President Henry B. Eyring talked about his experience writing in such a journal:

Before I would write, I would ponder this question: “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?” As I kept at it, something began to happen. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened, and it happened often, I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done.      (Oct. General Conference, 2007, O Remember, Remember)

I'll update on my progress in a few weeks.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mental Shift

When we had our son, I bought certain items planning on using them again. I spent a lot of money on a good jogging stroller, an expensive umbrella stroller, a nice crib, and I won't tell you how much I spent on a breast pump. The reason for all this spending of money was I viewed it as an investment. I wanted to be able to use all these items through multiple kids. It was going to help me save money in the long run. Well, that is not the case.

This is a way of thinking that I am trying to work out in my mind. I don't want to buy my son junk, but, at the same time, how much should I really be spending on a tricycle he will use for a year and then we will be getting rid of? I need to find a good balance. Somethings are easy to save money on by getting them off craigslist or at the thrift store. I only spent about $15 on all his summer clothes this year. It was 50% off say at the Volunteers of America thrift store. Yea! Other items I have a harder time deciding how to approach it.

Even though he is almost 4, he is still in his toddler bed. Part of that is because I want to make sure I get my moneys worth out of that crib/toddler bed before we get rid of it. Part of it is because I am not sure what bed to get him. Do I get a twin? Or do I get something larger knowing that he wouldn't be sharing a room with any siblings and that he will hopefully have this bed for a while? I am not sure yet. We will be moving in about a year so maybe he will stay in the toddler bed till then. Is almost 5 too old for a toddler bed? :)

I know this is an odd topic. It isn't something that has made me sad about having an only child. It is just something I realized I needed to rethink. I needed a mental shift from my large family in my head to my family of three.  I will stop thinking about the family I planned and enjoy the family I have.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Preschool At Home

We are going to start doing preschool at home. Other people talked to me about signing my son up for one of the many local preschools, but we didn't. Part of it is because I am selfish and don't want him to be gone from home for long periods of time. Part of it is because I don't think he is ready for that either. We did soccer this summer, and most of it was him sitting on my lap on the sideline. When I talked to him about preschool recently, he asked if I meant at home. I explained I was thinking of one at the local school and he cried that he was too little to go to a school and he wanted to be home. I easily obliged.

One thing I noticed is I think people are very surprised we don't have him in a preschool.  As an only child I think some people think he is missing out on an important part of childhood development by not having him in a preschool. That part is socializing. I think I disagree. We do story time. We do play groups. We go to the park. Yes, I am also close by, but he has plenty of time to socialize. Just today he sat under the picnic table with two girls from out church and played silly games and laughed together for about a half and hour. What they could find so funny under the picnic table is beyond me.

No only do these activities give him plenty of time with kids his own age, I think he is much better able to socialize with all age groups than most 3 year old. Maybe that is because the only people he socializes with at home are adults. At the library party the other day, he had no problem walking up to the ice cream lady and asking for a treat. The lady was the one who seemed more confused that he was there all on his own asking politely for his treat. I finally have to come and help out because the lady looked unsure if she should give him any ice cream. I am impressed that he is willing to do that kind of stuff on his own.

He may not be ready to be in school without me close by, be he sure knows how to interact with people and is still very socialized. He just likes to be able to make sure Mom is still close by if needed. Sorry that this is a little scatterbrained. Just thinking my thoughts out loud, or rather typing them.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

God's Timing

 I knew it would be difficult for us to have a second baby, but I was convinced it would happen. I had the righteous desire to have more children, and God is capable of making that happen, So it was going to happen. One part of the equation I forgot to factor in was timing. The timing must be right, or even our righteous desires will not be fulfilled. As Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said:

     “The issue for us is trusting God enough to trust also His timing. If we can truly believe He has our welfare at heart, may we not let His plans unfold as He thinks best? The same is true with the second coming and with all those matters wherein our faith needs to include faith in the Lord’s timing for us personally, not just in His overall plans and purposes.” 

But I was still thinking that I would get pregnant eventually. I was waiting for my miracle. I could be patient until it happened. I could spend more and more money till the Lord was ready to bless me. Then I realized, I had my miracle. I had a son that came into our family. I have been having the attitude that I was entitled to having another child. Entitled  is an ugly word. It makes us think we deserve something and that the Lord has nothing to do with it. This is not the case, nor would I want it to be the case. I need a loving Heavenly Father who knows what is best. 

In a talk given by Elder Dallin H Oaks given at BYU in 2002, he stated,

     "Because of things over which we have no control, we cannot plan and bring to pass everything we desire in our lives. Many important things will occur in our lives that we have not planned, and not all of them will be welcome. Even our most righteous desires may elude us or come in different ways or at different times than we have sought to plan...
     If we have faith in God and if we are committed to the fundamentals of keeping His commandments and putting Him first in our lives, we do not need to plan every single event—even every important event—and we should not feel rejected or depressed if some things—even some very important things—do not happen at the time we had planned or hoped or prayed."

There is a purpose behind our trials. Whether we are blessed with another child in this life or not, the Lord is behind this. He sees what I can not see. He sees a greater purpose in this life. He knows me and what blessings I stand in need of. 

Although I some times secretly hope for a miracle, I know that I can be grateful for the blessings I have and find contentment and joy in my life. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mother's Guilt

Mother's guilt is something I think all mothers deal with at some time. If you don't, please share your secret. I know it is something I have struggled with. I didn't stay home with my son the first 2 years of his life. Breastfeeding didn't work out for us. We watch too much TV as a family. He gets sweets more than he should. He doesn't have any siblings to play with. The list goes on and on. It is also different for different moms.

I also believe mothers guilt is something we can all overcome. The question is "how?" I am not quite sure, but here is what I have decided to do. Maybe it will at least alleviate some of that guilt.

First, I plan on setting some daily goals. Sometimes the day gets away from me and I feel like I have accomplished nothing. It's not that I have been sitting on the couch, eating ice cream and watching TV, but still, I never seem to get ahead. I figure this way at least I can cross something off a list. Then I can feel some sense of accomplishment.

Second, I am going to start being completely honest with others. Let me explain. It's not that I lie about how I am as a parent, but sometimes if I do something I worry others won't approve of, I just don't ever bring it up, even if we are talking about the topic. I decided to stop doing that. Some people might still judge me, but I think more likely is they do similar things. An example. A friend of mine on Facebook confessed she lets her daughter watch TV while she gets ready in the morning. Mother's guilt would have you think that a young child should never watch TV, but rather be engaged in creative, education play at all times. Guess what the respond to her comment was? Everyone did similar things! We are all hiding our mothering "faults," when in reality we are all in the same boat.

Third, and probably the hardest, I want to stop comparing my parenting and my son to others. Along with this is to try and not judge others for how they choose to parent. This is a hard one because I think as women we have a nasty habit of making comparisons in all aspects in life. I hope as I catch myself doing either of these, that I can stand back and make a conscious effort to stop myself. With time I think it will become easier.

Lastly, I want to try and enjoy all the time my son and I spend together. Let's face it, in the long run all he is going to remember is not how often I brought him to fun extracurricular activities, or how many veggies I made him eat (However he will still be easting them often.). Rather he will remember if he enjoyed being with his mom and if his mom loved being with him.

As a final note, my husband often points out that he watched a LOT of TV as a kids, and he ended up getting a PhD, so I doubt a little Phineas and Ferb is going to ruin my kid.

I would appreciate any, more practical ideas on how to alleviate mother's guilt. I doubt I will stop comparing myself overnight.

Monday, August 1, 2011

It's Done

All the baby stuff gone. On Sunday we took whatever was left and gave it to a friend of mine who's getting a new grandbaby. This is pathetic, I know, but I was choked up on the way to church. I even tried to convince my husband that we needed to keep bottle for my three year old son to play with.  Lame excuse, I know, and my husband knew it as well. He didn't even dignify my inquiry with an answer, just a look.

The actually act of handing off the box was handle by my husband. After church he went out to get the box and bring it to our friend's car while I got our son and waited for him to come back in. I am grateful he did it. I know anyone who may be reading this is rolling their eyes right about now, but it was really hard on me. I feel better now it is done.

On another note, I started My Happiness Project yesterday. This probably sounds crazy, but I really feel like this is going to work. I know it has only been one day and that I will still have bad days, but I think I am really going to eventually embrace this new road map I have been handed. I am even a little excited.