Keeping Up with the Kardashians

I hit an all time low last night. I was so exhausted from the endless day (see previous post). In addition to the kid’s crazy antics, they also fought all. day. long. I was worn out by 8:00. So while Lee put Sloan to bed, I turned on the TV while folding about 15 loads of laundry. Guess what? There’s nothing on TV on Tuesday nights. So, going against my better judgement, I allowed myself to get sucked into an E! True Hollywood Story about the Kardashian family. And when that went off, I started watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians. There it is…my confession of the day. And, if I’m being honest, I should say that I was actually enjoying watching this show. Sorry to any of you who may enjoy. Don’t mean to dis (diss?), but honestly, what a ridiculous show!

Lee came in around 9:15 and saw me laying near comatose on the couch, my brain almost visibly turning to mush. “What are you watching?” he asked. Through my stupor, I could sense the laughter in his voice. I lifted the remote. “Please help me,” I said. Lee gladly took it out of my hand and changed the channel, saving me from further subjecting myself to that nonsence. I went to bed shortly after that, hoping and praying for a better day.

Today started off early yet again, with me in a crappy mood, yet again. By about 7:30 this morning, I realized that I needed to get over myself and move on. So my kids get up early – big deal. I realized that it actually makes the morning run much smoother. We are not rushed at all. We take our time getting ready and eating breakfast – and we’re still all dressed and ready to go by 8:00, which gives the kids some play time before school. This is a good thing. If I got my lazy butt in bed before 10:30 or 11:00 every night, the early mornings would probably be less painful. So that’s my new goal. Go to bed earlier and wake up happier. Oh, and I’m praying that the Lord would give me joy in my serving, because I’m not feeling joyful these days – I’m feeling annoyed. I’m tired and selfish and I just want to crawl into bed and be left alone. But, that’s not an option so I’m choosing to grow up, accept the strength of the Lord and quit relying on my own, be a little more disciplined in my life and enjoy serving my family. We’ll see how the next few days go since Lee is out of town until Friday night.

Tia Tales and more

Our daughter has always been an awesome sleeper, and she still is – but she wakes up at the crack of dawn and she is very quiet. This morning, I thought I heard her open her door, but wasn’t sure since I hardly slept at all last night due to Landon…more on that later. Finally, around 6:30, I heard a bang and tears. I ran out into the living room and was horrified at what I saw. Apparently the little scavenger decided it would be a good idea to get into the formula and carry it through the house. There was a fine dusting of formula everywhere! And perfect little footprints walking through it. It was a mess. I’m not sure how she pulled it off exactly, but she managed to cover almost every floor we have with a perfect covering of formula. Oh yeah, and apparently the crash I heard was her dropping the can…on the dog. Sadie then tried to lick the formula off her coat. A little quiz for you: What happens to formula when it gets wet? Does it
A) dissolve
B) turn into a glue like paste
C) get slimy

The correct answer? B. If you saw Sadie now you’d notice that she has leaves and dirt stuck to her back because the formula has matted her fur down. And the spots on the floor where Sadie tried to lick up the powder required me to get on my hands and knees and scrape. Even after doing that, sweeping and mopping, parts of the floor are still sticky. So before 7:00 this morning I had vaccuumed, swept and mopped the entire house. And I was not in the most pleasant of moods. Yesterday at the doctor’s office, our ped. told us we needed to stop feeding Landon in the middle of the night. He should be sleeping all night by now. Because we knew this would be a rough transition, we put him in the pack and play in our bathroom. Well, after an hour of him screaming, we caved and gave him a bottle at 2:00. So, I was already sleep deprived and sweeping and mopping are not my favortie ways to wake up.

Then, as we’re getting ready this morning, I realize that I can’t find my wedding ring anywhere. I started to panic because I knew I left it in the kids bathroom last night when I got ready for bed. I was afraid it got knocked in the trash, so I dug out the trash bag, which was already at the curb, and brought it in and went through it piece by nasty piece. So gross. And no ring. I asked Tia if she knew where it was, but of course she had no idea what I was saying – I really wish she’d start talking more! When Sloan came home, I asked him if he had seen it and he nodded his head yes.

“Where is it?” I asked.
He calmly walked into the living room and lifted up the ottoman and pulled out my ring. “Why is my ring under there?” I asked, so relieved that it wasn’t lost forever.
“I was being a pirate and that was my buried treasure,” Sloan said.
It’s been one of those days…

Immunization Woes, Part 3…movin’ right along

We had our appointment today for Landon’s 4 month check up. First of all, I must say that my kids are not afraid to gain weight. He is 18 pounds(97%) and 26.5(95%) inches long! He’s a beast.

I was very nervous about bringing up the immunization chat with my doctor, but God is so good and my doctor was so supportive of our concerns and desires! Whew. She understood my concerns regarding the hepititus B shot and rotovirus (I didn’t go into chicken pox today…baby steps). She agreed that we could put those off or not get them at all as long as we understood the battle we would be facing regarding entering school. And she was extremely helpful in coming up with a more spaced out schedule for the rest of the shots! I wasn’t sure about Prevnar, but she suggested going ahead and getting that one and putting off polio since the likelihood of of him being exposed to polio is slim to none. I’m not even sure if we want to get that one anyway, so I was good with that. She agreed to do no more than two or three vaccinations at a time and even said that when it came time for MMR, she would attempt to order those vaccines seperately for us! That was a huge shock to me because I didn’t know if it was possible to do that. So, instead of getting the MMR, he would get measles first, some time later, mumps, and some time after that, rubella – depending on the availability of the supplies. She said those vaccines are offered seperately only in limited supplies, but when they had them in she would let me know. I may have Tia get those vaccines seperately, since she still needs to get that vaccine as well. And since poor Landon had an ear infection that we didn’t know about, she didn’t even give him a shot today. She said we could come back in 10 days and we could get one or two of the shots then.

I can’t tell you how relieved I am. I feel really good about this. I wasn’t against all the vaccines, just the way that they are administered. I’m so grateful to my doctor for listening to my concerns and not making me feel silly or foolish. God is so good because I have been praying about this so much! So the only vaccines Landon will likely be receiving before the age of two are DTaP, Hib and Prevnar. The rest we will either decline, separate or wait on. While I was waiting to go in, I did ask for a copy of Sloan and Tia’s records and was shocked to see that they both received the Hep B shot the day they were born! I don’t remember anyone even asking me if that was okay, though I’m sure they did (I hope they did). The first time I ever remember being asked about it in the hospital was with Landon, and we actually declined it. It just makes me sick now that I know what I do about vaccines. But, by God’s grace, Sloan and Tia appear to be fine and all we can do is pray that there are no future effects. But, I do feel empowered for actually sticking to my guns and doing what I felt was right for my child. Thanks for all your thoughts and support! For those of you who are also wrestling with this, approach your doctor and try to work out a plan that is best for you and your child. It’s so worth it!

The kind of mom I am…

My sweet Landon gets scared very easily. Yesterday Sloan was being a “dinosaur” and roaring through the house. Every time he roared, Landon got all teary and his little lip pooched out further and further. Instead of stopping this torture, I took pictures, because as my friend Nicole said in a recent post – that’s the kind of mom I am!

This is after the first roar. It’s his first plea for help.This is the warning look. He’s about to blow.Now I’m starting to feel a little guilty. Maybe I should put a stop to this.Okay, I can’t take it anymore. I must stop the torture.

It starts…

I took the kids to the park today to meet Sloan’s preschool class. Midway through the playdate, I notice Sloan being chased by two little girls. As we got in the car to leave, I asked Sloan what they were doing.

“I was the prince and they were trying to catch me,” he said.

I had instant flashbacks to my elementary school days when my friend Kirsten and I would chase this little boy named Mike around the playground and haul him to the tires where we would each kiss him, then let him go. The thought of little girls doing this thing to my own son sent me into a panic. “Stay away from him – he’s mine!” the voice screamed out in my head.

Calmly I looked at him in the rearview mirror, his super blonde hair all windblown and his cheeks rosy from all the running. He’s such a little doll. “So, what happened when they caught you?” I asked, fearing his answer.

“They didn’t catch me cause I’m too fast for them,” he replied with a satisfied smile.

That’s right my boy. Don’t ever let them catch you!”

But I think if they did catch me,” he said, “they would just throw me in jail cause I’m the bad prince.”

Ahhh innocence. I wish it would stay this way forever, but I’ll gladly take it for now.

He stumped me

Yesterday we were driving and listening to Selah, because I’m a Selah freak, and the song “It is Well with My Soul” came on. This is the conversation that Sloan and I had:

Sloan: “Hey Mom? What is a soul?”
Me: “It’s your spirit.”
Sloan: “Oh…What’s a spirit?”
Me: “Uhhh…It’s – the, uh, part of you that, ummm, con-connects with God.” (yes, it was that painful for me to figure out an answer to this question)
Sloan: “OOOHHHH. How does a spirit connect with God?”
Me: *sigh* “Well, your spirit wants to talk with God and sing praises to Him, so if you let it do that, then you connect with God.” I realize at this point I am treading the theological waters and beginning to sink.
Sloan: (thinks for a moment) “What does a spirit look like?”
Me: “Well-”
Sloan: “Hey look, it’s a car transporter!”
Me: “Yeah, look. How many cars does it have on it?” And this is where the conversation ends. *sigh of relief*

I will encourage Sloan to bring this topic back up with his daddy at some point.

Immunization Woes, Part 2

Since my last post on my concerns regarding immunizations, Lee and I have done a lot of reading and research regarding childhood vaccinations and the mounting concern surrounding them. I have hesitated to post about this because I have not wanted to seem like I’m trying to persuade people to feel the same way I do. But, I am interested in hearing what others think so I will be posting a slightly edited version of what we’re thinking. A couple of weeks ago, I bought a very informative and interesting book that I would actually recommend anyone read, even if your child has already received all of his or her vaccinations. It’s called, “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children’s Vaccinations.” I like this book because she presents the issue from an even ground without being overly radical either way. She gives you all the information regarding every vaccination and essentially leaves it up to you, as the parent, to decide what’s best for your child. The first half of the book goes into the specifics of all the controversies and statistics regarding vaccinations. Reading that information literally made me sick to my stomach and I was all ready to decline all vaccincations for Landon. But the second half of the book tells you about the history of the vaccines, why they were introduced, the consequneces of the diseases that they are meant to prevent and other information that gave me a much clearer picture of what they are for. This half of the book also calmed my spirit. That’s not to say that I don’t regret doing this research sooner and being more aware when Sloan and Tia were born.
The thing that stuck out to me the most is the fact that while there is certainly no proof that vaccinations have caused the incidences of autism and countless autoimmune disorders to increase so dramatically, there is definately evidence that there could be some potential for harm in them. Proof cannot be found if no one is looking for it. And that’s what concerns me. No one can question or doubt the good that vaccinations have done. When I read how nasty diseases like polio and pertussis and diptheria, etc…are, I definately see the benefits of working to prevent them. The problem, however, is that I think the medical community, the CDC and the governments are now taking it a step too far in requiring so many vaccinations in such a short period of time for every child, regardless of their genetic makeup. This is where most of my concern lies.
As for Lee and I, we have decided that there are several vaccines that we are going to decline altogether for Landon. What I’m realizing now is that I have very ignorantly gone about this whole procedure from the beginning. It never crossed my mind until I read this book what vaccinations actually were. It never even occurred to me that they were actually injecting my children with these diseases so that they could build an immunity. That’s how ignorant I was about the whole process. And I had no idea what most of the diseases were before now. Did you know that hepatitus B, while undoubtably a nasty, wicked disease, is only transmitted through IV drug use and sexual activity (or from mother to child during birth if the mother has it)? I didn’t know this! So why are we all being told that our children need to have this injection before they even leave the hospital? This makes little sense to me. There are others that we will be declining and I would be happy to share those with anyone who’s interested and why we’ve made that choice. I don’t want to share it all here because I believe it’s a personal decision and I don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable or bad if they don’t feel the same way that we do.
I don’t fault anyone who decides to vaccinate their children. I don’t fault our pediatrician for recommending and giving the vaccinations to my children. I do, however, fault the CDC, FDA and government for mandating them and thereby stripping our rights as parents to decide what is best for our children. And I fault myself for not being more aware earlier.
What we’ve decided to do at this point is continue to receive several of the major vaccinations, but at a different rate. When I looked back at Landon’s 2 month record, I was sickened to see that he got 8 vaccinations in that one day! 8! They were combined into 3 shots and one drink. It’s these over-combinations that are causing the most contrversy. It’s not that the vaccinations in and of themselves are necessarily terrible. But giving that many at one time to a child whose immune system is not ready to combat against it is dangerous. No one tells you that. So we’ve decided that we want him to have no more than 2-3 vaccinations at one time. Which means if they want to give him the DTaP, then that’s the only shot we want Landon to have that day. We’ll go back a month later to receive Hib and Polio. We will also be waiting until he’s older for some of the others that we’re still on the fence about.
Anyway, I take Landon to the ped. next week and I am dreading the conversation I will be having with her. I do not like to rock the boat. I don’t like to confront people or be controversial. I do not want her to feel that I am questioning her judgement as a doctor because I’m not at all. I like our pediatrician and have been very satisfied with the care our children have received. But ultimately, what I’ve realized is that these are my children and it’s my responsibility to look out for their well being. For some reason, I feel very strongly that Landon needs us to protect him this way. I have to go with my gut on this.
I know that to enter school there are federal mandates that require all these injections, but there are exemptions that the state of Missouri allows and we are exploring those. We’re still navigating these waters. We will see what happens. If nothing else, we may end up getting all the vaccinations, but not until Landon is much older. But if it’s possible there are 3 that we will definately avoid, and two more that we’re not sure about. Sometimes I wish I would have never opened this can of worms becuase ignorance truly is bliss!
I hope I’ve not made anyone uncomfortable by talking about this. We each have to make the decisions that are best for our own families. I have no problem with people who choose to vaccinate their own children. That’s your call to make, not mine. But I would love prayer for Lee and I as we discuss this with our doctor. If she is not willing to meet us where we are with this, then we have another doctor lined up. He is a doctor of Homeopathy (and also an M.D.) here in St. Louis. I had a consultation with him this morning and really like him. So we’ll see what happens. Sorry this is so long. It’s been a strange journey to go through. Thanks for listening with your eyes!

Weather, FABULOUS!

I am officially in a good mood. In fact, I believe I am borderline giddy. The weather is spectacular and as soon as I finish this post I will be heading out to enjoy it – and to trim the bushes. See? Even yard work sounds fun today. Sloan is at school late today, both little kids are napping. I’ve already worked out, showered, run a couple of errands and straightened the house. I’ve not done laundry because, like I said, I’m in a good mood. I don’t want to spoil it. I love spring! So before I finish, I leave you with a couple more pictures. Happy Spring!
The Brothers Stuart – in matching shirts. I’m a dork.

The Sweetness that is Tia

Cuteness

Three Times the Love!Yeah, I’m cute. Go on…say it!
Tia in her first nightgown. She looks so big and so sweet!
Landon had ceral for the first time tonight and he was an awesome eater! The first time I gave Sloan cereal, he cried the whole time and spit most of it out. I honestly have no recollection of the first time I gave Tia cereal. That’s very sad. But Landon ate the whole bowl and I bet he swallowed 90% of it! He’s a cereal champ!
Here he is, trying to figure out exactly what I’m putting in his mouth!
Whatever it was, it was good!

Seriously…these are the cutest kids in the world!

Earthquake

Lee got up this morning to feed Landon about 4:30. I got up to use the bathroom and just as I laid back down the bed started shaking. We have a punching bag hanging in the basement underneath our room and I could hear it swinging. My first thought was why in the world is Lee punching this early in the morning? But I realized that it was swinging pretty hard. Then I noticed the windows rattling, and since our bed is on wood floors, it was sliding away from the wall. That’s when I got nervous. I hopped out of bed and met Lee in the door jamb of our room. He handed me Landon and went to look out the window. By this time the shaking had stopped. We kept watching our neighbor’s houses to see if anyone turned their lights on, but no one seemed to be awake. We turned on the TV and no one was talking about it, so we started to think we were either crazy or something was seriously wrong with our furnace.

Finally, a little before 5, they came on and confirmed that there had been a 5.4 (now it’s a 5.2) earthquake 127 miles east of us! That’s crazy. I have a new respect for the power of earthquakes. Not that I didn’t respect it before, I just didn’t think about it. Anyway, it was kind of comical. It really scared us, Lee in particular. After he handed me Landon, he changed his clothes and got all dressed. For what, it’s hard to say. He looked like he was ready to go into hand to hand combat with Mother Nature. When we finally crawled back in bed we were both laughing – mostly at Lee. “I feel invicible!” he said. Then, of course, we came up with a better course of action should we ever experience a more powerful earthquake. In case you’re wondering, Lee will grab the little ones and I’ll grab Sloan. Likely we’ll never have to deal with that, but it’s nice to feel prepared.

Luckily Sloan didn’t really notice it. He did come out of his room and asked what it was, then went back to sleep pretty quickly. This morning we were talking about it and he remembered seeing this movie about earthquakes and volcanoes (it’s that really ridiculous Tommy Lee Jones, Anne Heche movie set in California). To dispel any fears, we talked about how God created the earth to cry out to Him and praise Him and how the rocks must have been feeling full of praise so they had to clap together in joy. That seemed to satisfy him. So there you have it. We experienced the midwest earthquake. Crazy!

update: we just had an aftershock that we totally felt! I was in the basement doing laundry and noticed the clothes shaking. Sloan was upstairs watching a movie and starting yelling that the earth was shaking again. It wasn’t as strong as the first one, but we could feel it. I clicked over to the news and they confirmed that we’d just experienced a pretty noticable shake, likely related to this mornings! This is wild!