Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Marriage (Part One)

I know, creative title time!

This request came to me on Facebook (You can always follow the blog. Just click the icon on the right panel!)
A friend writes:
I'd love for you to write about your marriage - not sure if that's too personal. Kind of like what you feel is most important, what kinds of situations may create conflict, what you feel is keeping your marriage going strong. I've heard a lot of discouraging information on marriage and divorce and all.
 It's sad, but she's right: There is A LOT of discouraging information on marriage. Celebrity marriages only show up in the media when they fail. There are lots of quotes on marriage that are negative. ("50% of marriages end in divorce. The other 50% end in death.") Marriage on television isn't wholesome anymore. People are more content to sleep around, get separated, or live together than enjoy a happy marriage.

There are many things that make a marriage successful. Two big ones are God and Communication. Did you notice that I didn't slap "Love" in there? Don't get me wrong, love is important. However, I've heard of way too many marriages ending because they "just fell out of love" and decided that it was over. That "love" feeling you feel at the start of marriage will change over the years. That's okay! But if you don't have God and Communication on your side you won't know how to handle this change. You'll go searching for a new person just to get that "love" feeling again. The cycle will never end until you change your views on love.

Now, I'm in love with my husband. I'm in love with him even MORE than I was when we met 5.5 years ago. Our love has changed and matured over the years.

What situations create conflict? Well, Stefan and I rarely fight in the traditional sense of the word. Those screaming matches you see on TV? We don't have those. We have tense moments and conversations. Usually, though, we're adult enough to talk through it. We've made it a point to never bring up past mistakes and throw them out as weapons.
There are lots of things that can create conflict! We're only human! We snap when we're overwhelmed and tired. We get frustrated. We argue over chores. It's totally normal. When you scream at each other over socks in the floor or if there's abuse involved this is NOT NORMAL. Get counseling! (If your safety or well-being is in danger then just get out!)

I don't know how much is okay to share about my marriage so I'll leave it at that.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Prayer Request

I've been doing phone calls and emails most of the day.

My friend Ginni (my doula from my recent birth) told be about a little girl she knows named Peyton. Peyton lives in Toronto. Peyton is 2.5 years old.

Peyton has been diagnosed with cancer...for the second time.

My heart breaks for this family. My son is 2 years old. Just the THOUGHT of anything like this happening to him is heart wrenching. I don't even like it when he scrapes his knee!

So, I'm calling on you! My goal is to get as many people as possible putting this little girl's name before the Throne of God. He can perform a miracle. He's the only one that can.

Pray for her every chance you get. Tell your friends and family to pray for her. If we believe it, we will see a miracle done in her life!

Mark 10:16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Am I Enough?

There's a dirty secret of Mommyhood that's rarely spoken out loud. Well, before the popularity of Mommy-Blogs it was rarely spoken of, but now people talk about it more often if you know where to look...

Mommy Guilt

At the end of the day I always find myself wondering, "Was I enough?" Did I play enough? Did I teach him enough? Did I discipline enough or too much? Did I satisfy his needs? Did I satisfy enough of his wants? Is it my fault that he can't *insert whatever*?

People don't talk about it enough. Most Mommy Blogs highlight the fun times. The trips to the zoo/park/school. The playdates. The activity sheets. Some moms let you in ever so briefly only to shower the blog with all the good moments again. I'm not saying be a downer or anything, but we need to be honest with each other.

Ever since the visit with Early Intervention I've been blaming myself. Maybe if I'd taken him to more playgroups he'd pretend more. Maybe if I'd worked with him more often he'd be on track for language. Maybe if I hadn't had the epidural and pain medication things would be different. Maybe if I'd listened to myself sooner we could be past this already. Maybe if I left them with babysitters or a day program I wouldn't get overwhelmed so easily.

You could drive yourself crazy listening to all of the maybes.

I feel guilty when I have to choose between children. That's the other thing people don't mention when the other child comes into the picture: Sometimes you have to put one child ahead of the other. Sometimes it's obvious: Franklin wants milk and Jonathan needs a diaper change. That one's easy. But what about when they both want/need attention and there isn't a clear winner? Or when it's easier to play with the baby because he hasn't spent the day acting out? Those are the REALLY HARD moments. Those are the moments that break your heart. Those are the moments that you lay awake at night replaying in your head wondering "What if I'd chosen differently?"

On my Pandora station right now there's a song playing that is touching my heart even as I type this. It's called "Hold My Heart" by 10th Avenue North.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Update You're All Waiting To Read

Franklin got evaluated yesterday on speech and for sensory processing disorder.

He qualifies for the program!

What is Sensory Processing Disorder? Here's a link to a short video that I thought was very informative (and easy to understand as it's made for kids)

Basically, sometimes when people are processing information it doesn't process correctly. Lines get crossed or things go too fast or too slow.

For example:
A neurotypical person hears the vacuum cleaner and it sounds normal...like you would expect a vacuum to sound. Someone with SPD might process it as a nothing sound (like, barely register it) and another might process it as pain.

Some things they noticed about Franklin:
- They showed him how to play with a toy and then tried to get him to play with it another way...and he wouldn't do it because that's not how you play with that toy. (Stefan realized last night that this is why getting him to drink milk out of a glass is so hard...he's ALWAYS had it from the bottle. To him, that is where you have milk)
- He tuned them out a lot because he wasn't finished doing X Activity. (This is why discipline is SO HARD! He doesn't distract.)
(those two things they want to work on...being able to stop an activity even if it's not perfect)
- He's still a bit behind on language.
- When he's upset and calming down (he had a tantrum while they were here) he makes this specific tone noise (a whining noise) They said that for him that sound feels good. One of our goals is to give him other ways to calm down.
- They want to work on his pretend play. He doesn't do it.

- He plays rough with people because that's how HE likes to be played with...he doesn't understand that not everyone needs the firm touch that he does.
They said we have to go outside AT LEAST twice a day. (It's about to be too hot to go out in the afternoon) They want him to do more heavy work activities and find ways to get that deep touch (so he stops throwing himself off of the couch).
Basically, I feel really good about it. Right now someone will be coming out weekly to see him. (The ECI Specialist) The Speech Person and OT will come monthly right now.
They said he's perfect for the program. He's not an extreme case but there's enough there that we can get tools to help him. That's all we wanted, really.

What was the evaluation like? They came in (armed with a suitcase full of toys and books with pictures) and sat on the floor and played with him. They alternated playing with Franklin and asking us questions. And then they sat back and watched him walk around and play. It was really low key.

I'll be honest, I had to keep reminding myself that they were here to evaluate FRANKLIN and not ME. I guess it's ego...but no parent wants to admit that their child is less than perfect. I've also been struggling with "is there something *I* did wrong?" Every time they asked, "Does he do X?" and I had to answer in the negative I felt the need to defend myself. That was hard for me.

Things are better already. They gave us some things to think about and a couple of tools. The Occupational Therapist said that if I observe him I can learn what he needs. When he's throwing toys it's because his muscles need more stimulation so I should find a "heavy work" activity to help tire them out. (Like, pushing/pulling/lifting heavy things...we filled his little backpack with cans. Last night before bed he had to "wheelbarrow walk" across the living room) When he's crashing around and jumping off of the couch it's because he needs that deep touch. Like you get from a hard massage, the nerves interpret it the same way. So, I can roll him tight in a blanket or massage his legs.

This also explains why spankings rarely work. He LIKES the deep touch, so a spanking barely registers...or it registers too high. There is no middle ground. 

Please ask questions!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011



So, I've been trying to keep track of my calories each day. The trouble is...I can't DIET. Breastfeeding means that I need to eat a minimum of 1800 calories a day. Breastfeeding burns an average of 500 calories a day (something like 20 calories for each ounce of milk produced) So, even if I want to net 1800 calories I can EAT 2300 calories...and some days it doesn't feel like enough. I'm truly not eating due to boredom or anything. I'm HUNGRY all the time. Like, really really hungry. So for now I'm focused on being active and making good food choices. I can't worry about numbers right now.
Counting calories is a slippery slope for me. I was bulimic in high school, and at one point it was fairly severe (purging daily and I was down to 115lbs) My average weight at that point was 122lbs...and I always thought it was WAY too much. I exercised for hours each day. I didn't eat more than 800 calories a day (and I kept it under 500 more often than not) Sometimes it's still hard to know that a meal was 500 calories even though that's perfectly acceptable. Because I know this about myself I'm going to stop counting and just try to eat healthy! My son's nourishment is more important than my waistline.


We've been trying to find a church. We've tried SEVERAL in the area. Maybe I'm just too picky. One I didn't like the way the preacher talked (it was distracting), one didn't want me to have my kids in service AT ALL, one was way too long (2 hours minimum), one was okay and we might try again, and the last one there were a couple of things I didn't care for... I have a right to be picky, right? I want a shorter service (an hour would be great), a big enough kids ministry that Franklin is with kids his own age (and not a 0-4 situation), and I want to feel comfortable nursing Jonathan in church. I want a vibrant praise and worship that isn't just a loud concert.


Tomorrow he's being evaluated for a Sensory Processing Disorder. I found this helpful.
 I'm really praying about this...it would explain a lot and be helpful. Why he seems compelled to jump on the couch. Why spankings don't work (he needs a deep touch to really feel it so spankings don't register as a bad thing) Why he hated purees. Etc...


I'm terrible at this lately. My house isn't DIRTY, it's "scattered" to quote my mom. Moxie says that each room in my house is 10minutes away from being clean. (I've sent pictures) It's honestly pointless to put things away during the day because Franklin just yanks them back out....just for the sake of yanking them out. It's frustrating.


Do you follow me on Facebook or Twitter? There are buttons on the right side. We're having a discussion about healthy diet choices for this month. Jump over and log your goals. It's never too late.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tot School B + C

This week Tot School was a little more lazy.

We did a couple of worksheets each day. Franklin wasn't in the mood to do many. I wasn't going to force him. The point of Tot School is to go at HIS pace. Basically, any knowledge on these subjects is huge for a 2 year old. And I want him to view learning as FUN.

Here's a photo of our worksheets this week.

We did "B" through Wednesday and progressed to "C" after that. He can identify ABC now! We're going to review "C" on Monday (because we only did a couple of days of it).

When we did "Car" he pointed at the "C" when I asked and then pointed and told me "A" without being asked.

Stefan got promoted on Friday. That was interesting. Franklin was not in the mood and kept saying, "Go." Thankfully his grandpa was there to help out.

We also did the zoo yesterday! I don't have many pics of that because I forgot to charge my camera before we went. His grandparents came with us and it was super fun. Franklin is old enough to actually care that there are animals at the zoo. He likes to learn their names and point them out.

We bought a printer today so hopefully I'll be able to print out some worksheets. However, Stefan said he thought it was neat that I did my own. "It almost seems more personal." So, I'll keep making them (it IS fun) and print off things I don't draw very well.

Did you enter the giveaway? Free bookmark! It's going to run the month of May.


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