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Monday, November 30, 2009

Help Me Someone Please

Disclaimer: I love Bug. There is no one in the entire world that I love more. I realize how blessed that I am to have him. Now, on to my complaining.

Bug will not stop talking. He will.not.stop. He's always been very active and talkative, but this is different. It goes like this:

"Mommy, look, look what I can do. Mommy look, come here and look. Look. Look what I can do mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Look. Watch this. I can make footprints in the carpet. Watch this. I can make footprints in the carpet. What kind of animal am I? Mommy. Look. Come here and watch. Mommy, I put tape on bubby's head. He's o.k. Mommy, come here and look where I put tape on his head. Sorry mommy. I won't put tape on his head again. Mommy. Look....".

I have never had a three and a half year old before, so I'm assuming this is par for the course. But tonight I'm a wreck. I have a headache, it actually feels like my head is in the grip of some sort of torture device. I am a little nauseous and I'm having thoughts about opening the door and running down the road. Fast. I just need silence. Just a little silence. My hands are actually shaking. I almost started crying a few minutes ago in the kitchen because I realized it was still over an hour until bedtime.

He is currently running in circles (literally) and talking nonstop. I don't think he even notices that I am not answering.

Grumpy has only slept through the night once in the past four months (and that was only until 5:00) so I think I am just...tired. I need a few minutes of silence and a long, long nap.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I Finally Did It...

I am the proud owner of thriftysouthernmama.com! I have been toying with the idea of purchasing my own domain for awhile and after some promptings from the husband I finally did. I love the idea of building websites, it's something about having control over my own little space on the web (did I mention that I am a control freak?) and I've taken my first baby step.

Don't expect anything major to change here for awhile, I am also a bit obsessive and the simple act of finding the right theme has been enough to send me over the edge. I have instructed the hubby to learn web design immediately so that he can build me a custom theme for free, but I don't think he's interested. Oh well. Hopefully sooner rather than later the new site will be up and running and too much of my hair won't be pulled out in the process. I will keep you updated!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Blessed

I have always loved Thanksgiving, partly because of the food and partly because it is a prelude to Christmas. When I was a little girl I thought of it as a practice run. Now that I am officially grown up I also see it as a great opportunity to acknowledge the blessings that I have been given. Since I have a blog now I figured why not list them here...

1. My relationship with the Lord. I know I am loved unconditionally by God, I know I am going to Heaven and I never have to face a single day alone.

2. My husband. I never believed I would find someone who could be what he is to me. I can completely be myself with him, even when being myself isn't necessarily a good thing. He even loves me when my nose is all red and swollen or I don't shave my legs for a week.

3. Bug. There just aren't words for this little blessing. He will always be my "sunshine baby", even when he's forty years old! He is beautiful, gives great snuggles and has a huge heart, I can't wait to see what he comes up with everyday.

4. Grumpy. I tell my husband that the Grump is the best bad idea I ever had. He makes our little family feel complete. While he is a bit cranky, he loves to be loved. He loves kisses, hugs, cuddles, and is as good at giving them as he is at receiving. He loves me more than anyone else, and while I know that it won't last, I am reveling in it at the moment. He is a mama's boy and I wouldn't have it any other way.

5. My parents. They still treat me like I'm twelve and I love it. They buy me things, worry constantly, basically spoil me rotten. I don't plan to try and stop them anytime soon, I blame this on the fact that I am the baby of the family.

6. My brother and sisters. I have always thought it would be so lonely to be an only child (which explains why there is a Grump snoring in the bedroom) and I am so glad that I have my siblings.

7. My nieces and nephews. There are a ton of them and they are all so special to me. Sure, when Jon and Kelli were little I wanted them gone, but now that we're all adults I'm glad I didn't follow through with my plan to "accidentally" lose them while shopping. Before you think I'm insane, there are only a few years between us, I was just a little girl.

8. A nice place to live. Sometimes I get so down about the fact that we rent, but we're fortunate to have a comfortable, safe home with plenty of room for our babies. If I'm tired I have three warm beds to choose from, if I want a hot shower it's a few steps away and a drink of clean water is always available. We are warm, we're dry, we have absolutely nothing to complain about.

9. Staying at home with my boys. I am amazed sometimes that it actually worked out. I still remember the night I sat next to my husband, huge pregnant, sobbing that I didn't want to leave my baby. It seemed impossible, but thank God, here I am.

10. My husband's job. These days it's a blessing to have one at all, and he also has a company truck which saves a ton on gas.

11. Freedom. I am so thankful that I live in a place where I am free to worship, live and raise my kids the way I want to. I know our country is far from perfect, but it beats the other options in my opinion.

12. I have a history. I can trace my family's lineage back generations, I know where I belong and it's one of the most beautiful places in the world.

13. My computer. Oh how I love my computer. It helps me learn, keep up with family, earn a little extra cash, pursue my dreams, play games, waste endless amounts of time...

14. Pajamas and throws. Sure it sounds silly, but there is nothing cozier in the world than putting on my p.j.'s, grabbing a book and curling up under a throw.

15. Books. I love to read, when I get a new book to read I am more excited than I would be if I bought five new outfits.

Of course, there is a lot more that I am thankful for, but I'm not going to bore you with how much I love cheese or how happy a shirt pulled straight from the dryer makes me. I hope you all have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

CSN Toys and Games Online Giveaway!



This giveaway is now closed, thanks to everyone who participated.

The folks at CSN Toys and Games Online are sponsoring this great giveaway for my readers. One winner will receive The Young Scientists Club Set 7: Bones and Muscles, The Senses and Light Science Kit. It is listed as "a great introduction to the field of human physiology" and I will admit, I first wanted to do a review until I realized that Bug isn't old enough to really appreciate it.

As a homeschooling mama I think these kits look promising, they have won the 2009 Creative Child Award, Parents' Choice Foundation, and a Museum Store Association Buyer's Choice award as well. If you are looking for online toys you will want to check CSN Toys and Games out, they have a great selection, everything from dolls to bicycles.

Also, if you order any of the kits you can enter the code YSC20 at checkout for an extra 20% off.

Now, time for giveaway rules. Leave a comment on this post to enter. If you subscribe to or follow this blog you get one extra entry, tweeting or blogging about the giveaway gets you two extra shots. Just mention that you subscribe, tweeted, whatever, in your comment and I will make sure that you get your extra entries. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end Wednesday, December 2nd at midnight. I will announce the winner on Thursday morning. Good luck!


Monday, November 23, 2009

I Am a Dork

I can practically see my family and friends nodding their agreement. I was pretty excited to log in a few moments ago and find several comments. I then proceeded to delete all of said comments instead of publishing them. So...to those of you who commented, I am sorry. Sigh.

Update: I'm not a dork! Well, yeah I am, but it was Blogger's fault, not mine apparently. Some of my comments are back so I couldn't have deleted them. Maybe the rest will magically reappear tomorrow, who knows!

Some Things I'm Learning

Ever since I became a stay at home mom I have struggled with organization, time management, our financial situation and trusting the Lord to provide. I have tried everything, read everything, prayed and I still end up uneasy, unsure of myself and feeling like I just can't do anything right. I have been getting serious about supplementing our income this past month or so, which means my plate has been quite full. Between cleaning, cooking, handling finances, writing, homeschooling and taking care of everybody, my plate has been pretty full. I have learned some life lessons, things I probably wouldn't have learned if I'd had more time to over think everything. Here they are, quite randomly:

1. To-do lists are not an automatic solution nor are they evil. They also don't have to be perfectly written on beautiful stationary. A white sheet of notebook paper sectioned off into meals, home, work, and kids works well. It's also o.k. to change this list throughout the day. Oh, and nothing horrible happened when I marked not a single item off my list that one day.

2. It only takes me three minutes to peel potatoes for supper, not the 22 that I had originally thought. It only takes me four minutes to fold towels and three minutes to unload the dishwasher. I have tried giving myself a limit on these tasks just to see how fast I can get finished if I try, it turns out that I am a speed demon!

3. It is possible to write a rough draft of an article while two boys are making driving sounds three feet away.

4.It feels really good to contribute financially to our household without leaving my kids with someone else. Really, really good.

5. Completely unrelated to managing a household, but some people are just not good for my family. I can make excuses all day long as to why they are the way they are, feel sorry for them, and want to help but at the end of the day it is what it is. If you have people like this in your life it's o.k. to politely ask them to go away, shut the door, and pray for them without allowing their issues to affect your family.

6. Turning things over to God is not a one time deal. It's something that I have to do over and over, sometimes all day long. I've struggled with this for so long, I would tell myself I was going to walk away from a problem and leave it in His hands, but just in case He was busy, I'd go ahead and make a Plan B. And write it down, highlighting especially important points. Then I'd feel so horrible when my prayer was answered and there I sat, holding a crumpled copy of Plan B. I'm finally beginning to understand that He isn't angry with me about this because He knows how I am. I've been able to take some tiny baby steps and I'm not feeling the need to make so many alternate plans lately.

It's amazing to me that I am 31 years old and just starting to figure out such simple things. I have a lot going on, which would normally make me nervous, but for some reason it's just making me happy and content this time around. Go figure.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

FWS - Feline Withdrawal Syndrome


I am suffering from a terrible case of FWS (Feline Withdrawal Syndrome). I don't think it's a real disorder, but it should be. I can honestly say that, outside of children, there is nothing in the world more beautiful to me than a cat. Sleeping, eating, pouncing, ignoring me, attacking my ankle because I didn't obey a request immediately, they're beautiful no matter what they do.

I have always been this way. From the time I was able to crawl I have been covered in cats. There are photos to back this up. I would have never believed there would be a time when I didn't have a cat, but here I am. We moved shortly after re-homing Tigger and P.J. and we aren't allowed indoor pets at our new home. Which is just as well, Bug is allergic to fleas and I'm terrified that we will once again have an infestation. I would love to have an outdoor cat (which is what I pretty much always had growing up), but we live so close to the road that I don't think it would be fair to bring a cat here.

My ideal cat is much like Dynamo (pictured above), my mom's cat that I claimed as my own. Until I moved out and they wouldn't let me take her with me. She was grumpy, aloof, hateful, and generally unpleasant to be around. She also randomly attacked guests, refused to stop scratching the furniture and would only eat the most expensive and hard to find types of cat food. But there was another side to her. She kept my feet warm in winter, snuggled with me every night and once actually reach her paw out and caught one of my tears when I was crying about something. She got me through some really tough times. Call me crazy if you want, but I miss her like a human family member. Not a day goes by that I don't think about her.

So here I am with a kitty shaped hole in my heart. I have been sad about this for awhile, but today there was a light at the end of the tunnel. We have been seeing some cats around the house, one I know belongs to our landlady. I may have possibly been putting food out back in the hopes that I would find a stray to love. My dear hubby informed me that when he was on the porch last night there were nine cats out there. All at once. That's 36 paws. He said they looked like strays.

Now, since these cats were already here I don't see any harm in adopting one. I mean, it would be helping, right? There were black ones, a calico, a brindle... I have decided to go for it. Here's the plan:

1. Choose the scrawniest, most pitiful cat as this one is most likely to not have an owner. And if it does, then they aren't doing a good job so technically, I should win by default.

2. Ask the landlady if she knows who it belongs to. If she doesn't, I proceed.

3. Feed the cat. Name the cat. Get a collar. Introduce the cat to the husband by name after the food has been purchased and the collar is in place.

4. Take pictures of said cat to post here.

5. Become faithful servant of said cat and all of it's stray buddies.

Oh, and Grumpy loves cats too. He saw one outside a couple of weeks ago and I thought he was going to pass out he got so excited. I took him out and let him touch it and he couldn't hold himself still.

My husband seems to think I need professional help to deal with this problem. This may be true, but adopting a stray is a much cheaper way of dealing with it. And a lot more snuggly, too!

Friday, November 20, 2009

I'm Still Here!

I have not posted in quite some time so I thought I'd better do a quick update before somebody starts to think I'm dead (I do that with people whose blogs I read, because really, how would you know for sure?). I have been so busy lately, writing as much as possible for Demand Studios, chasing Grumpy, researching the best ways to teach Bug, Christmas shopping, etc. and so on. I miss posting here so I am getting ready to sit down and make a list of post ideas.

I cannot believe it's almost Thanksgiving already, that boggles my mind. I can practically taste my mom's sage dressing and the pecan pie. I have just about finished my shopping already, this is the earliest I've ever managed to get it done. I can't wait to put up the tree, although I am dreading keeping Grumpy from climbing it. He can't walk yet, but boy can he climb. I found him sitting on top of Bug's art desk a couple of weeks ago.

I have also added some new blogs to my blog roll that you might want to check out. Oh, and I'm getting ready to add a poll that I'd love for you to take a look at. I need some inspiration as far as what to write about and I would really appreciate your help with that.

That's pretty much it for now, I'm hoping Grumpy will go to sleep soon so I can do a little "blog tidying" and get to work on that list of post ideas. It's really hard to type when he is pulling on my arm, gumming my knee cap and collapsing in a dramatic heap in the floor. I'm thinking he needs some daddy time.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Homeschooling Bug

Homeschooling Bug is a wonderful, confusing and sometimes frustrating experience. I was unsure about how to approach it, I couldn't find a curriculum that seemed to fit us, so I have been pretty much making it up as I go. He has been doing so well and most of the time he really seems to enjoy it. We usually do "learning time" twice a day, three days a week. With my uncertain schedule (a direct result of Grumpy) I am afraid that if I don't have a specific time to work with him, it just won't happen. It's a wonderful notion in theory, but Bug sometimes has other ideas.

If he's already doing something, like playing cars or playing with his brother, he is not interested in learning time. I know that at this age I'm not really supposed to pressure him (right?) but I still end up feeling annoyed because I am afraid that I won't get to it later. If that happens often he might not learn what he needs to. I think I am still s trying to make homeschooling look like "real" school and I don't think that's Bug's style.

One of the things that I love about the idea of homeschooling is the freedom we have to teach our kids in the way that is best for them. Bug may learn one way while Grumpy is totally opposite and that will be fine, I can cater to whatever they need. I just don't know where to start. I have read some about unschooling and I am really, really confused. I mean, I try to teach Bug all day, answering his questions, cheering him on when he decides to identify all the letters he knows on the back of the cereal box. Is that unschooling? I just don't know.

Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed that I get completely terrified. I don't want to mess this up. I truly feel that it's what God would have us do, so I have to stop and ask Him again to show me what to do, remind myself that I can trust Him completely. Being a mommy is the scariest thing that I have ever done in my life. I want the best for my sweet babies and I cannot fathom why God would entrust them to me. But He did so I have to figure this out.

I have sat down and considered what I want my boys to know, what I think is most important. First and foremost, I want them to learn about the Lord, to be saved and live their lives walking with Him. Nothing is more important than that. I want them to have a love of learning, to love good books. I want them to be much better at math than I ever was, we may have to call in back up for that one. I want them to learn at an early age how to manage money, the importance of avoiding credit cards, the importance of living debt free. My husband and I are learning that lesson the hard way. I want them to explore and get excited about new discoveries and never feel caged in by what they should be learning on a particular day. I want them to appreciate nature, their heritage and the mountains they are being raised in. I want them to know that college is wonderful if they choose it, but if not that's ok too. I want them to be happy and confident and kind.

Now, I just have to figure out the best way to go about this. I want to let them guide me in what they learn, but I can't quite let go of my fear that if I do that they will not learn all that they should. If any of you know of any good books or websites about unschooling I would love it if you would share. Any suggestions at all would be welcome actually. I would love to hear the approach that others take when teaching preschoolers because this is really hard!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

This Link Needs to Be Shared

Sarah Mae from Like a Warm Cup of Coffee posted this over at (In)Courage and I had to share it, it's a good one. I am going to try to post something more lengthy later today or tomorrow, the Grump is teething and has a bit of a fever so he is stuck to his mama like glue and he doesn't really like the computer all that much. As in, he screams if I approach the computer. He runs this house with a tiny iron fist, I think it's his red hair. Have a great day!

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