The me I want to be

The me I want to be is the series that the church is doing right now.  I can say that this is a good series, and everyone can actually get something out of it.

So there were many good points in yesterdays portion. So I am connecting a link to the Canyon Ridge site.  And hopefully that will take you right to yesterdays service.

The prayer closet being a room that you can go to… to one on one be with God.  This is the area that is so true.  As a mother of young children where do we tend to go?  Where is our sanctuary?  Kevin says that many young moms, go to the bathroom.  A place that we can lock ourselves into.

This bathroom I giggled when he said this.  Because I go there all the time.  Well, maybe not often enough.  I still am smiling while I write this.  I don’t often go upstairs in my house other than, to put the kids to bed, or down for the nap, or to clean.  However at night-time, Shyla and I often go up to bed at the same time.  And when we go up, I always go in this little toilet room that we have, and she always goes and gets my Bible.  She hands it to me, and she sits on the floor of that entry and I read to her.  I read 1 chapter every nite, sometimes 2.  This is my time, whether it be 2 minutes or 10 minutes, this is the time, that no one attempts to talk with me.  It is the only time of the day that I ask for everyone to leave me alone.   I don’t mind if the kids are there, they just can’t talk.  If they are there I read aloud, and if they are not, I just read to myself quietly. 

I never read in the bathroom till we moved into this house.  You would think in a 3200 sq ft house that you could find somewhere other than the toilet room to get a quiet place, but there is not.  Someone always wants a piece of a mommy.  And that is okay with me, but I also need a HUGE piece of time with God.  I know that a sanctuary can be anywhere, I know that God is with me at all times, and well most of the time, I just have a non ending prayer with God, because well… I know that I need him that much.

So, in this service it is way more than my bathroom sanctuary that I had to think about.  I have spent a lot of time over the past day thinking about the deeper part that he is talking about.  The part that you really need to dig deep to find?  I need to find the deeper me, that would be a much better mom. 

Finding a better mom in me, is going to take much more time in prayer with God.  I know that God is teaching us patience when he gives us trials and tribulations.  However I truly do not believe in asking God to give me more patience.  As I have mentioned in previous days, about the delivery of Schyler and how my… connection with God was changed.  I have found that Jaden is at the age that really pushes my buttons.  And right behind him is Shyla trying to see if she can do all the naughty little things that the big brother does.  So, I need to find the way that God will have me react to these issues.  I know that he would not have me be the person that I am at times.  I do want people to see God in me, and how can I say that I am the best mom that I can be, if I am not trying to be “The me I want to be” or in this particular area, “The mom I want to be, or the mom that God wants for me to be?” 

So yesterday I tried really hard to not get upset with the little things that the kids did.  I am not saying that I did not correct them.  I just prayed and tried to not raise my voice.  OH>>> don’t get me wrong Jaden was really pushing at my last button.

So… as a parent, I am wondering where is your sanctuary?  You don’t have to be religious, but where is your quiet place?  Where do you go to be alone.  I am sure that not everyone uses the bathroom!  And… what are the different and most effective ways that you have found to discipline your children with the different ages?  what has made you the best parent you can be?

If you have any words of encouragement or have a place to send me to, to find your answers please feel free!

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My baby blues

In trying to decide where my actual place in life is.  I have been reading about many other people’s lives, real people in the real-time.  I am really starting to enjoy many different blogs.   So today I stumbled into Home is where you start from.  And she has a L.E.N.S. Photo challenge – the eyes have it.

So knowing that I have some beautiful baby blues of my own.  I thought that I would share some photos that I have taken.  I hope

that you enjoy them as much as I do, when I look at My Baby Blues….

Milson Road, Daily Portrait is on it’s way!

I wrote a post awhile back for a giveaway that was going on.  My post was who’s day is it anyways?  Well, I ended up being granted the give away.  Thanks to Mommy Confessions Blog!

It took me awhile to actually place the order.  Me and computers just seem to.. let’s just say have problems!  So I guess that I should mention that at times I am a procrastinater.  And as excited as I was about having won this wonderful gift from Milson Road, of their Daily Portrait.  I just was not sure what I really wanted to do with.  First when I saw the ability to enter the drawing I thought hard about my Shyla, because she was my first girl, and she really had nothing of her own yet, nothing extra.  So then I put more thought into it, and thought about our anniversary.  Well, that one went by pretty quick.  So then my mind kept coming back to Schyler.

Schyler is a very special delivery (goodness here I go with my tears).  She is a very small package filled with great wonders!  Not that my other children are not, it is just that her coming into this world was part of God’s wonderful plan of teaching me.  Yes, I know every child is from God’s plan. 

We had been kicked out of a rental due to foreclosure, my husband was leaving for Iraq, we had to move the four of us (at the time) into one of our friends bedrooms, we packed our things put them in storage, I left in April for Ohio, found out the next day I was prego, the next day Sean left for Iraq, time passed I moved me and the kids back here to Vegas into a rental,( this was a high risk pregnancy due to high blood pressure and 2 previous preterm babies).  I was going to the hospital every other day, Sean came home the next wk.  The next day there was a knock at the door saying that this house was supposed to be vacant and that they were there to change the locks.  A wk later I went in for one of my check on a Monday, and they kept me, they sent me out on emergency from the base hospital expecting a c-section as soon as I got to the hospital down town.  I got there saw some high risk doctors (supposedly some of the best in town.)  The one did an ultra sound and said that the baby was not yet 4 lbs and that we should try to keep it in as long as we could.  (Schyler was a surprise we did not know her sex)  They gave me yet another set of steroid shots (which have to be days apart) and put me on a Mag drip earlier that morning before I even left the base hospital.  I was only 33 wks.  I was bed ridden because of the mag drip, and I had migraines from the high blood pressure meds that they had me on for the previous few wks.  Add all of the meds together along with being scared and having a migraine, and then add a doctor coming into the room to tell you…”you are the one that is going to die, you are the one that will leave your kids without a mommy, and your husband will be the one caring for possibly a mentally challenged infant along with the other 2 children without you.”  Ok, this obviously was not a “I will hold your hand doctor” who was there to help me understand.  He was a in your face, no sugar coat, kick your butt, do it my way or else, like or lump it doctor.  This of course did not calm me any further, and I was already on all of these meds and my blood pressure was still 219 over 117.  So you can see where this was leading. … I prayed, I prayed like I never had before….

My prayers were simple…..  Lord, please let your will be done, help me not to resist you.  Please always let my children know how much they are loved.  Please Lord, just let Sean have the ability to get through this.  No matter where I am, please help him to be a strong source for our children.  If it is your will to take me, let your will be done.

I will never say that this was the easiest prayer in my life, but it was the most honest, and scariest.  My God, is an awesome God. 

On Wednesday night the doctor came in to talk with me and Sean and said that I was going to harm the baby further if we did not have her soon.  So he scheduled a c-section for the next afternoon.  He said that the baby would hopefully be fine until then, and that they really needed to get that last steroid shot in me and give it time to work, that was why they were waiting till the afternoon.

The next morning, he came in at just before 8, and told me that we had to take the baby now.  My blood pressure was to dangerous for too long, and that he had been watching the baby, and that it was really causing too much distress at that moment, that she had to come out NOW.  I immediately got on the phone with Sean, and he barely made it, but he dropped off the kids and was there by my side.  at 9:12 AM we had a perfect 3 lb 10 oz, baby girl.  She breathed on her own, she even ate from a bottle right away, this was my miracle from God.

Of course I did not get to see her but a brief moment when they put her up to my face, and then swooped her away to the NICU.  I was still on bed rest the rest of that day.  Then I got to go see her around 4 or so in the morning.  She was so small, I had no idea what to expect.  They had told me, while I was still in recovery, that she had eaten the amount of a 1/2 tsp, within the first hour. They were totally thrilled with that.  She did not have to be tubed, she did not have to have all kinds of things that you would expect coming from her.  She was small, but in perfect health!

I was told on Saturday morning that they needed my bed, and that they were going to discharge me, how soon could I get I ride?  If I could not get a ride, they would pay for a cab.. Wow, that was quick!!  They had not checked my blood pressure, or given me any of my meds since they had delivered the baby.  I still had my headaches.  Sunday night (baby still down town in the NICU, she had to get 4 lbs to come home) I felt like my heart was racing, Sean went and got me a blood pressure cuff.  I was 220 over 116.  I called the base hospital and told not to worry this is normal (yeah right).  I called again in the morning 226 over 117.  That afternoon they told me to stop by after seeing the baby for them to monitor me quickly.  So I did, and they within a couple of minutes had me hooked up again and bed ridden.  I was not going anywhere…. I was there for another 3 days. 

With my husband just coming home from Iraq, he was being stressed out to his entire limit.  At one point he passed out in the hallway of our house (while I was in the hospital) he is 6 foot 3, and he put a nice size hole in the wall where his elbow went through when he fell.  The 2 wks of R&R  is not supposed to be this stressful, but he adapted the best that he could, running a home as a single dad, going to 1 hospital to see his wife, drop his kids off at a friend’s house because the kids are not allowed at either hospital, and then running to the other hospital to see the baby.

So this is a lot of information….but this is why I chose to make my Daily Portrait from Milson Road’s giveaway, for my Schyler’s birth.  She is a miracle to me from God.  A miracle of life, that God showed me… if I let it all go.. if I give him full control of any situation…. he will provide.  It may not always be the outcome that I want… but it is the outcome of his will.

The real reason I am writing this blog today, is because I had just got an email saying that my Daily Portrait is being shipped and on its way…. I can’t wait to take a picture and share it with you~ So thank you so much Mommy Confessions Blog for hosting an awesome giveaway, and thank you so much to Milson Road for giving a reminder to see everyday, how blessed I truly am!

Credit card game?

Are you a winner of the credit card game?  My husband and I have used this game to our advantage.  I know many people in this economy, or maybe just many people in general have not figured out how to succeed at this game.

The first strategy, is to try to eliminate all debt!  Who is not trying to work on this, right?!  So for those of you who are lucky enough to not have credit card debt, I am so proud of you.  However… do you play the credit card game?

I can honestly say that Sean and I have no debt, except for our home loan.  However being in the military and far away from our families, I love to go home for visits.  From Alaska this was hard because of finances.  A plane ticket could easily be $1200 or more round trip for one person.  Yes, you could get them cheaper at times, but most of the time you have not planned anything in advance like the occasional funeral, or heart attack of a loved one.

What we chose to do back in 2002 is apply for a credit card.  We chose at that time… Bank of America’s Alaskan Airlines Visa Card.  With this credit card we got perks such as airline miles.  I can not tell you what else they offered, because I really did not care, I just needed to fly, and if this would help me get a discounted ticket… HEY WHY NOT!!  So we applied and was offered the card.  I can not tell you how many times I flew I will just tell you that it was more than 8 times for sure!  So at an estimated $1200 per ticket… yes, I saved some big money.  Because I really only had to pay the taxes on the tickets.

How did we do this?  We were very careful to never live above our means.  What I really mean is… if we did not have money in the bank to pay for each transaction or purchase then we did not make the purchase.  We did not use it as a credit card, we used it just as many of you who live on a cash only basis.  We watched how much we were spending.  I can also honestly say, that we have never paid a dime of interest to them (not on the credit card). 

I will also have to add that this particular card has an annual fee.  Which I would generally discourage.  So why did we pay that $75 fee every year.  Only because Alaska Airlines had the best perk miles for us, while we were living in Alaska.  We were there for 6 years, and loved every minute of it.  So if you do happen to be going to Alaska, you may want to check this card out.  If you are able to use a card just like your debit card, and stay very much right on top of it, and not pay any interest then this may just be the card for you. 

We have since living here in Las Vegas, cancelled this card, and moved onto their Power Rewards Card, that does not have an annual fee.  We don’t live in Alaska anymore and you can purchase a regular hardly any notice ticket back home for under $300 almost any day.  And if not, my Power Rewards Card is supposed to be able to help me out with this.  I honestly have not used any of the perks of this card yet. 

We will be trying to use the rewards come April.  One of our friends is retiring from the military, so we will be making a trip back to the east!  So I will be sure to let you know how the perks work out, since we will be paying for 4 seats this trip! 

As for all the credit card offers that are out there.  Be very careful.  There is a lot of shady things going on. 

Seems like the average for transfer fees is about 4% but some places are doing it for 3%. 

Interest rates are all over the place, but my favorite, for those of you who are trying to consolidate your debt.   Is the 3% transfer fee, and the 20 months at 0%.  This deal is for balance transfers, I think they said purchase get the same 0% for 12 months.  But really don’t plan on keeping the debt any longer than you have to. 

You really need to keep on plan.  Try to design something in your budget that hopefully you can pay off in say 8 months.  Keep things realistic, and if you are already paying a certain $ amount on many credit cards, then if you can do that amount comfortably, and after the approval of balance transfers on the new card if it comes back a lower monthly bill, then keep paying the bill you were paying before. 

This credit card game, is not designed to hurt you, or help you to spend more money that you don’t already have.  It really is only for those who are disciplined enough to stay on track.  And I know that a lot of the credit cards also offer cash back perks, this would be another good way to go!

I am not a credit counselor, I am just letting you know that there are ways to let credit cards work for you.  Especially if you like to travel!

Routine potty training

Did you have a great routine for potty training?  I think this is something I am really almost failing at.

I have always heard that girls are easier than boys!  Ok… so I DON’T THINK SO!  I think each child is individually different in every way.  I don’t think it matters boy or girl on anything.

Again, here I go about Jaden.  Jaden turned 1 in November and then in April, just started going pee in the potty all by himself.  Wow, what a shocker.  Then it took him a couple of months to get the whole poop in the potty thing down pat.  Now, I am not saying at all that he did not have accidents.  In fact, he did really well, at home, but if he got playing with friends he would forget to go to the potty.  So we did choose to keep pull ups on just incase.

Now, we have Shyla.  Who accidentally went pee on the potty the first time, when she was just a couple of months over 1.  I was so thrilled, she was not afraid of the potty at all.  Wow, this should be easy (or so I thought).  A child not afraid to sit on the toilet, not worried about falling in!  How lucky am I, 2 children that will do awesome on the toilet training.  And I was thinking this because I was prego at the time too!

Which brings us to today.  Shyla has been going potty on the toilet off and on.  And here is her method!

If she has a diaper on, she will just potty in it.  She does not even care if she gets changed or not, she will just continually go in it, until it is too full to go anymore.  Yes, I am bad, sometimes I just want to see if she will give in.  No, this is not something that I do on a regular basis, no worries!  So, if I leave her naked to run around the house, she will go pee and poo every time in the toilet.  I have only been doing this for about the past 2 wks.  She does so good.  She comes running and says “momma, pee, I go pee”  so I tell her to run to the toilet, and she does.  She piddles and then yells.  We wipe, flush the toilet, scream and holler, and wash our hands, we continue to scream and holler while we run through the kitchen to tell who ever will listen.  So then sometimes we will put on panties.  I usually only allow this for about 10 minutes because much over that then she will pee in them. 

Why would she pee in panties if she knows she has to go when she is naked?  I guess this is pretty much a pointless question seeing as, it does not matter what she has on, a pull up, panties whatever she will pee in them.

So, what would be my answer?  I surely can’t drive down the road with her sitting in her car seat naked!  And of course being naked, is the only way she will tell me that she has to go potty!

So please help me in letting me know what your strategies were.  Maybe I can try your suggestions! 

Routine potty training anyone???!!!

Subdivision park.

We live in a small gated community.  It is a nicer area, maybe not the nicest in all of North Las Vegas, but in an area that Sean and I have known since we moved here in 2007.  This little subdivision is gated, and has a small park, not anything to brag about, just a small grassy area with a few trees and a couple of picnic tables.

So today I left the house a bit late to take Jaden to school, it was 8:27 I drove around the corner.  To find nothing but 2 cop cars facing each other, so I look up into the park, to see the 2 officers each with a child, not a small child but some teenagers from the street next to us.  I am not really sure what they got busted for, but my wildest guess is drugs.  Lots of teen are usually sitting around this table with their heads down, but it is usually in the evening.  Sean and I have speculated a lot, but figured it mostly was none of our business, it was not our children.

So, now sitting back and seeing that these kids were taken into custody, and then taken to their house this morning.  I am wondering… should I from now on call the cops if I see them all gathered around like that, or should I continue to go on about my business as I always have?  Sitting here thinking about it right at this moment, there is a lot going through my mind about all of this.  If it was my children I would want to know, this I have no doubt.  But would I want for the neighbor that I have never met, to be the one coming to my home making accusations that they don’t know anything about?

I don’t go to this park area because it is always the teen kids hanging out around the tables.  I don’t allow Jaden to go to any of the other kids in the neighborhoods home, because of my worry of this.  And actually one of the teens who was caught today, is a sibling to a child Jaden had an encounter with last summer.  This particular child had his brother hold Jaden down while he punched Jaden, and since then I have not let Jaden go play with him or his brother.

So maybe I am asking.  If you were the parent would you want for me or for anyone else to knock on your door, when they have speculations about what is happening with your child, or would you want for them to keep their opinions to themselves?  Would you want to know that people think your child is doing drugs in the park?

Taekwondo wkend!

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This wkend was Jaden’s first time testing for his new Taekwondo class.  He was so excited.  This is a major commitment for us, so we took it very seriously.

There is one picture of Jaden in his normal clothes where he is practicing here at home.  I am so proud that he really works at this.  Maybe this will help with some of his frustrations.  He knows that this can not be done anywhere except for his Taekwondo school and here at this house (but definitely not with his sisters!)

He did very good, he stayed focused and did as instructed.  What a great boy!!  He did earn his orange stripe, and of course his orange head band!  And it will be another 2 months before his next time to test!

Thank you so much to the Matthews team for working with Jaden and for giving us a FANTASTIC opportunity to try them out.  They offered to the military a 30 day trial, so that we could make sure that this would work out for us!  Sean brought a coupon home from work with this!  Team Matthews is made up of a husband, wife, and adult son.  They are the 3 instructors.  Ms. Matthews is the one that works mostly with Jaden’s group, and then Mr. Matthews Jr. takes the high ranks with him, during class. 

I am not sure what their normal business practice is for trial basis.  I am sure that they change it up.  However once you are ready to sign up, they will (if you are military) give you a 10% discount.  It is a 1 year obligation, but if for some reason you were to PCS or deploy there are exceptions without penalty.  And if for some reason down the road you just decide it is not working out..,. don’t worry, you are not going to be out your money for the rest of the year.  You will only pay a $50 cancellation fee.  I was happy with this small cancellation fee, as it seems everything here in Vegas, seems to be expensive!

So if you are interested in Taekwondo for your little people or maybe even yourself, head on over.  I am sure that you will like it.