Saturday, December 31, 2011

This Month & This Year

Here I am. Today, I actually have a few minutes to blog for the first time in a long time.

We have been very busy with Christmas, family visiting, and for the last 2 weeks, my Winter Intercession class. I have had a really wonderful holiday season. I will probably be blogging a little less frequently from here until May, because of school. I only have one more week of this intercession class, but then the spring semester starts about a week after that. I'm moving forward, and that's what's important.

This year was amazing. Here are some highlights:
- Kicked off 2011 in Tennessee for a snowy vacation in the mountains.
- On March 23rd, 2011, my baby girl was born!!
- Kept on truckin' through my classes at UL Lafayette with online courses.
- Went back to blogging.
- Saw many prayers get answered.
- Moved into a bigger house.
- And finally, the big news...
Kyle got an offer for a new job!!!!

This job is most definitely an answer to prayers. He will start training in 2 weeks.
Good-bye 2011, hello 2012!!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Little Breathing Room

This week is the end of the semester, and I am gonna have a little time to chill before my Winter Intercession class in 2 weeks.  I had an appointment with a surgeon today, because JM has a cyst on his head.  We thought he was going to need surgery, but today's appointment brought great news.  He won't need a surgery after all.  I thank God for this.  I am so glad we won't be spending the holidays at the hospital.

We are all moved into our new place.  There are some things that still need to be put away, but it's manageable.  Hopefully, this week we'll turn this house into a home.

In other news, I returned to facebook... dun dun DUUUUUUNNNN.  Yep, I missed the people.  So, I caved and got back on.

This weekend, assuming that our babysitting situation is good, we'll be attending a church Christmas party and a work Christmas party.  Lots of fun and a much-needed break from the kiddos. 

I posted a few new pics today here, btw: Christmas Season 1.

Season's Greetings!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Just Checking In

My life has just been super-crazy, and there seems to be no end in sight.  Lots of things going on.  I would say that things will slow down after this semester, but that's not so.  Since I'm taking a Winter Intercession course in order to graduate in the spring, I might not have time to update this blog much.

We have things going in the works that I can't discuss right now, but if all goes well, I should have news on that in January.  And NO, I am not pregnant, if that's what you're thinking. 

Anyway, God has been doing some great things in our lives.  I am so thankful to Him.  He's amazing, and I know that I wouldn't be where I am without Him.  I mean, I have a new baby, and I am about to graduate in the spring (hopefully.)  I prayed.  He answered.  Period.

Tonight, we will be celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary (which is actually on the 19th - tomorrow.)  My mom got us tickets for a Jazz For Peace benefit dinner and concert for HappyHaiti.org.  This organization's goals to help Haiti include (from the website):

"In addition to building dome housing to replace the multitude of inhabited shacks, the Foundation is on target to build a trade school campus, which will create local jobs and provide needed employment training, thereby impacting the local economy. The training facility would also teach English, French, Spanish, Arts & Crafts, Woodwork and other trades.
Additionally the foundation’s long-term goals are to build roads, install sewage systems, water wells and latrines."
As you can see, this will be a great service for Haiti, so if you would like to make a donation, please visit the website and do so: HappyHaiti.org.

I will be adding a link to my site so that you can find it later, too.

Also, tomorrow is our main, big moving day.  We'll be moving 2 houses down, because our landlord acquired the house a few months ago and it's a bit bigger than the one we are in.  It's gonna be a big blessing to our family, and once again, God did it.

This week, I had another test, I got my Flu shot, dyed my hair, got it cut, went to schedule my graduation checkout appointment, and brought JM to the doctor for results of his ultrasound.  (He has a bump on his head that is not cancerous, but will have to be surgically removed.)  It has been so busy, my head is scatterbrained all over the place.

I still have more to get done before the Thanksgiving holiday.  Saturday night after moving, I will need to go see another play for my class.  I need to somehow get back to campus for more paperwork for my grad checkout appointment on Tuesday.  Plus, I have a writing assignment to do before grad checkout.  Somehow, it will all work out, I hope.  Sigh.

Tonight will be a nice break, though.

Monday, November 7, 2011

No Time To Blog/Small Behavior Victories

We have been really busy the last month, and I really haven't had lots of blogging time.  So, here's a few things that have been going on.

The last 3 weekends have been jam-packed.  I would say we are in need of a serious slow down, but unfortunately, that just won't be possible for a while.  We are moving into the new rent house 2 doors down this weekend.  We can't put that off, but it will be a great blessing to our family to have more space, especially in the living room and kitchen.  It will be work, but it'll be worth it.

The 2 weekends before this weekend were spent on our 2 Texas trips.  One weekend was for S's (and my) birthday, and the other one was to see Joseph Prince speak at Lakewood church.  This weekend, we joined Kyle's mom for an old-fashioned southern tent revival.  We went Friday night.  There was lots of singing and praising, and the kids had fun in their classes.  Saturday morning, R woke up coughing.  We are blessed that our doctor's office is open on the weekends, so we all headed in to get her checked out.

We had a victory with good behavior at the doctor's office.  A few weeks ago, I took all 3 of the kids to the doctor's office by myself.  Everything fell apart on me.  I was holding R, and the boys started acting up.  My hands were tied, and they took full advantage of that.  The situation escalated until I didn't know what else to do but leave.  I waited at the check-in window to ask if I could come back another day, but the office girl told me that we were next in line.  So, I held in my frustration and sat back down with the kids until we were called.  They got punished when we got home, but I knew that I was gonna have to try to prevent this situation from happening again.

So, Saturday we came very prepared.  During the week, I took an idea from Michelle Duggar and practiced "blanket time" with the boys.  The way I did it was to put each kid on a small blanket with a book, tell them to stay on the blanket, and allowed them only to speak in a whisper for 10 minutes.  When they successfully completed the task, I let them pick out a piece of candy.  Saturday, I told them that we would be doing blanket time at the doctor's office with a few changes.  Before we left, I packed their backpacks with 2 books and 2 small, quiet toys.  I didn't let them see what was in the backpacks until we got in the doctor's office.  While we were there, they had to 1) sit on their bottoms in their chair, 2) speak only in a whisper, 3) and play quietly with the items in their backpacks.  If they did all of these things while we were in the doctor's office, they would get a candy when we got in the car.  After a while, we let them switch backpacks so that they had new things to keep them busy.  They did so well, even the doctor noticed and commented on how quiet they were.  It was one small victory, and I know that there are more challenges to come, but I was thrilled that the visit went so well. 

Well, that's all I have time for.  Later!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Joseph Prince!

This weekend, the whole fam packed up and headed to Houston to see Joseph Prince preach at Lakewood Church.  That's right, we went to see a preacher!  Joseph Prince is a preacher from Singapore (near where my parents lived last year in Brunei; they usually flew out of Singapore.)  This was his first time speaking in the U.S.  His ministry focuses on God's grace through Christ.  He is very insightful with scripture, and finds things that the average person would miss.  Anyway, we really had a great time.  God is so good!  His gift of grace is for everyone.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me, I Am Now 33!

Today is my 33rd birthday.  Not much going on today.  I know that my church Bible study is tonight, and they will probably have some cake or something sweet.  But as far as today goes, it's just another day of hyper preschoolers and changing diapers.

I am thankful for this time of my life, though.  This weekend, we did our dinner, documentary, and devotional with my cousins and I think it went well.  We celebrated S's birthday in Texas.  It was a busy weekend, and I am still recovering.  Once again, I came home from the long drive and had to force myself to do my homework, which was due Sunday night (for my online class.)  So anyway, we haven't even finished getting everything unpacked yet, because we came home with so much loot between birthday presents and garage sale stuff people bought for R.  We even acquired a toddler bed for when R gets bigger, but we couldn't fit in in the van this time, so we'll pick it up from my grandmother's house next time we are in.

Also, we have a big move coming up in a couple of weeks.  My landlord recently purchased the house 2 doors down from the one we are in now.  They offered us first dibs on it, and we said yes.  It's gonna be a little bigger than our house now, so we are really looking forward to it.  It's going to be a blessing for our family.

And, I am also excited about scheduling classes soon for next semester.  It looks like everything is coming together and I will be able to get 2-3 classes next semester.  So, I am well on my way to graduate next fall!  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Advising Time

If you don't know me well, you may not know that I have been slowly finishing up my bachelor's degree for a while.  I even took a class last semester online during the end of my pregnancy and R's first few months.  I went to get advised today, and it looks like I will possibly be able to take 3 classes next semester and 1 class in the fall.  That would be my last class, and I would graduate in December 2012.  I have to work out the childcare details on that, and financially there are some things to take care of, too.  But overall, at this moment, it looks like I have all of that covered.  The main thing now is finding classes that will fit into my curriculum and will fit into a Tuesday/Thursday schedule.

After I got advised, I took a trip to the UL Bookstore and picked up a cheerleading outfit for R.  I tried to get some pics of her today, but she really wasn't in the mood.  Here's what I got: Ragin' Cajun Cheerleader Take 1

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October Gets Busier

October is always a busy month.  We'll be celebrating my birthday and S's birthday with our families in both Texas and Cecilia in the next few weeks.  Kyle and I might be going to Houston, too, if we have the money.  Anyway, we are very booked for the rest of the month. 

I am planning a get-together with my younger Texas cousins in the next couple of weeks, too.  We will be doing pizza, watching a documentary, and having a short devotional.  I am really excited about it, because I rarely get to spend time with my cousins.

We are doing better with discipline lately.  Kyle and I are seeing improvements in behavior, slowly but surely.  S is still doing well with using the potty.  R is gaining weight. 

I am getting advised for my college curriculum for next semester next week, and it looks like I might be able to take 3 classes, leaving me with just ONE class to take in the fall to graduate.  It's in the works, nothing is set in stone, yet.

I am sitting here dumbfounded once again at how fast time is passing.  How is it that it's this close to 2012?  JM just turned 4!  It's just crazy.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Busy Weekend

This weekend was pretty full.  Friday night is my "date night" with Kyle.  We have been keeping up with this pretty regularly for a while now.  Sometimes we will put the kids to bed and then eat our dinner without them.  (This Friday, we did cheap chicken curry, and I have blogged about this before.  Read about it HERE.)  But, our main staple is watching a movie on Netflix after the kids are asleep.  We take turns picking the movie.  This week was my pick, and my last few picks haven't been that good.  This week, I made up for it.  I picked a french movie: "My Best Friend."  It's about an older antiques dealer who realizes that he has no friends.  He makes a bet with his business partner that he can prove he has a best friend before the end of the month.  The movie was PG-13, and had come content and language not suitable for all audiences.  Anyway, we liked it.
Saturday was flu shots day for the kids, a visit from Maw and Paw, and then we attended a birthday party for one of my friends' kids.  Kyle cooked a (cajun) rice and gravy, that I KNOW wasn't approved for my diet.  (I am currently taking a hiatus.)  After dinner, I took my first test for my class this semester.  Made an A!  Woot!  Today was church, and our pastor was out of town, so Kyle was asked to do the welcome, announcements, and opening prayer.  After church was football and naps.  The Saints won (barely)!!  Then, I had more homework to do for my class in the afternoon.  Then, we had breakfast for dinner - pancakes with real maple syrup, yum!  Finally, we got the kids ready for bed, and... more homework.  Bleh!  It's now 8:22 p.m., I'm done with homework and ready to chill.  Man, what a busy weekend!

I also posted more cute pics of R yesterday: 6 1/2 Months

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Potty Success!

Today was a monumental day in the Richard home.  If you have been following this blog, you have probably read about my difficulties with getting S to go #2 in the potty.  Last week, I got so fed up with cleaning undies that I decided to make a choice.  I decided for the SECOND time to put him back in diapers.  I know that many will see that as the wrong decision, but I saw it this way: he was pooping in his pants just like he was pooping in his diapers - he wasn't motivated to make a change either way.  I was the only person suffering, and I had tried everything that anyone told me.  Nothing was working, so I concluded that he must just not be ready.

Earlier today, he said his tummy ached a little.  (After doing a little research, I think he may have a slight food allergy, but that's another story.)  I told him that his tummy ache might mean that he needed to potty.  Shortly after that, I did change a #2 diaper.  Then at nap time, I had put them down for about 5 or 10 minutes when S said that he needed to go #2.  I rushed to check his diaper, and it was clean.  So, we hurried to the potty.  Lo and behold, he actually did #2 in the potty for the very first time!

He did it all on his own.  We hadn't even mentioned it since last week, although he has continued to pee in the potty.  Kyle was home on his lunch break, and we called both of the grandmothers. Sounds crazy, but we were thrilled.  This is a major milestone, especially since last week I thought we were gonna have to wait another 3-6 months to try again.  Of course, I know he may still have accidents, but he has at least figured it out.  He is back in his big boy underwear.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hollywood Kids!

Ok, maybe just bits parts in community theater... for now.  Here is a fireman scene the boys made up.  There are two videos, because they each had to take turns being the firemen.
For pics from today, including R smiling beautifully, check out Jacket Weather!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It's October!

Well, it's my favorite month - my birthday month!  Honestly, the excitement over my birthday has dwindled the last few years.  Not too much that's exciting about being in your 30s really.  I will say that, although the number of years I have lived isn't thrilling anymore, I have a lot to be thankful for.

At this point in my life, I have a very fruitful relationship with God.  It is really amazing how much God can grow you spiritually if you are a willing participant.  I actually DO have life "more abundant," complete with clarity on what that actually means.

My class is progressing well.  I am thankful for my family, our safety, health, and well-being.  I am really realizing that these things are so important, especially when living in a world where major disasters every few months seem to be becoming the norm.

This month we have some short trips planned.  We will be celebrating my birthday, but mostly S's birthday.  He will be 3 years old.

Today, I was reading over my writings of my previous pregnancies.  I have a bunch of stuff (between 40 and 50 pages typed) I wrote in the first 2 pregnancies that I actually was hoping I could make into a book someday.  I haven't touched it in a while.  But, who knows??  Maybe I will pick that up and continue with R's story.  I don't know.  But, I did plan on posting the birth stories of both JM and S on this site at some point.  Today, I read JM's birth.  I cannot believe it has been 4 years since my first baby was born.  Life is really speeding up.

Well anyway, October rocks!  I love the fall. 

Friday, September 30, 2011

He Picked RED!


Home Dye Tonight

I am currently waiting for my hair color to set in.  I chose to use John Frieda.  I went online and used their shade selector.  Basically you put in your hair color and any treatments you have had and it gives you a list of shades that are supposed to blend.  I picked three different shades from those and let Kyle pick the final product out of those shades.  I will post pics here tonight.  To be continued...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Recipe: Pumpkin Oat Bread (Points +)


Pumpkin Oat Bread (Tweeked )

3 Points +
Servings: 24
Level of Difficulty: Easy


Ingredients:
            1/2 cup(s) Smart Balance Light buttery spread with flax  
            1 1/2 cup(s) packed light brown sugar  
            5 item(s) egg white(s)  
            1 3/4 cup(s) canned pumpkin  
            1/4 tsp sea salt  
            1 tsp pumpkin pie spice  
            1 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour  
            1 1/2 cup(s) uncooked quick oats  
            2 1/2 tsp baking soda
            (I also added 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, but forgot to put them into the recipe builder.  Shouldn't change the points value, anyway.)

  
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350. Spray baking pan with cooking spray. Cream smart balance and brown sugar. Add eggs and pumpkin and beat well. Add salt, pumpkin pie spice, flour, oats, and baking soda; mix thouroughly. Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. Cut into 24 pieces. 3 points plus per piece.

Misty Notes:  
- I thought the bread could have been sweeter, so I may add more sugar next time.  However, when I ate it warm with a little melted smart balance and some honey, it rocked!  Most definitely serve this with coffee, and it will be like having a coffee house treat in your own home. 
-  The original recipe called for 3 whole eggs, but my husband is watching his cholesterol, so I changed that.  It also called for half a walnut to be placed on each piece before baking.  I removed that, and both my changes resulted in a smaller points + value. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

R's Disappointing 6 Month Check-Up

I am very discouraged about R's 6 month check-up.  They said she did not gain enough weight.  I am not sure what has caused this.  She is still nursing, and she was spot-on for all her developmental milestones.  I am definitely reconsidering being on my diet.  I know that I have been drinking half-caf coffee, so I will go back to decaf.  I thought about starting formula.  I am very unsure about the situation.

The doctor said not to worry about it yet.  She is just starting solids, so he recommended offering solids 4-5 times a day.  He will check her weight again in a month.  He said that if she doesn't gain more by then, he will have to do blood work.  That kind of talk freaks me out.

She isn't acting like there is anything wrong.  Everyone says she is such a good baby, because her temperament is good.  I don't know.  I am praying about it, though.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Diet Update for 9/23/11

I lost a pound this week.  It might not seem like a lot, but I'll take it.  That brings my grand total to 11.6 pounds lost since I started and about 31 pounds lost since the pregnancy.  It is definitely nice to see the numbers go down when I step on the scale.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

More Toddler Stuff & Blogger Updates

Today, I am trying yet another potty training method I got off of babycenter.com: "Potty training in three days or less".  In this method, basically your kid walks around without pants for 3 days.  Ugh.  Before I had kids, I would've said I'd never resort to something like this.  Well, I'm here and, I'm desperate.  So far, we have one poop on the floor, but at least I didn't have to clean nasty underwear.

JM had do chores to atone for his actions yesterday (read about it here: Trials Of Toddlerhood) by cleaning the floors and baseboards of the bathrooms and kitchen with a wet rag (no chemicals, of course.)  I actually picked that punishment up from the children's cartoon "Angelina Ballerina."

I just updated all of my blog pages to include Google Translator for all of my international readers.  Thank you for checking out my blog.

Also, for those of you that read on my Misty-isms page about me and my hair coloring ventures (Self Sacrifice & What's New For August 2011), I haven't actually done the hair color yet.  Someone had offered to do it for me, and that didn't work out.  So, I will be doing it myself when we get the next paycheck.  I will be posting before and after pics up here.  Be sure to look for that around the 30th or the 1st of October.  Should be fun and interesting to say the least.

That's all for now.  Weigh in and diet update tomorrow...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Trials Of Toddlerhood

We are still struggling to get S to potty train.  There seems to be no end in sight.  He has spent hours sitting on his potty, but will not do his most important business there.  It is so frustrating, because I know several people with boys that trained by 2 and a half and my boys don't.  JM finally got it a month or two before he turned 3.  S will turn 3 in less than a month and his progress seems to be at a halt.

JM has been testing us frequently.  He has been so difficult lately.  I am really trying to change my perspective.  I am being challenged, and I am trying new methods to get them to internalize reasons for good behavior.  New today to our daily routine is that every morning before breakfast we will go over the house guidelines and sing the "Good Morning To You" song.  We will see if that helps out at all.

I am still truckin' through with my diet.  I will post an update on that Friday after I weigh.

Update since I posted this:
I went outside to put the laundry to wash.  JM came out without permission, so I told him to go back and wait for me inside.  He argued with me.  Then. he went inside and locked me out of the house by locking the screen door.  Um... wow!  I am not happy this morning.  He was disciplined, then put in his room to think about what he did and how he can change his actions next time.  Now, I am trying to think of some chore I can have him do to make up for it.  See, this is what I am talking about.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Contact Page Updated/Thanks For Stopping By

There was an error on my contact page, but it should be fixed now. Sorry about that. I am not sure what happened there.  It may still take a few seconds to load, though.
Thanks for stopping by.  Here's some elevator music as a parting gift.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Scattered

It's 10 after 10 on Sunday night, and I feel very scattered.  Things have been too busy the last few weeks.  I haven't had much extra time.  I am pretty swamped.  I have had a lot of extra things to do, but I am hoping things will slow down a bit pretty soon. 

I am too tired to elaborate on all the stuff I have been doing, but I will say that at least my online class is going well.  I will be required to watch 2 theater performances and write papers on them for my class.  I am actually looking forward to getting out and seeing some theater.  I think live shows of any kind are really fun, but I just tend to forget to plan ahead and put them on my calendar.  Now that I will be forced to, maybe it will serve as a good reminder that I need to get out and do things like that.

One of the shows that I may go and see is a college performance of Edgar Allen Poe stories.  I think that will be really neat, and it's free with my student I.D., so that's even better.  In my quest to find shows to see, I found a spoken word show I may try to see.

Well, in light of all of this overload I have been feeling, I know that I am gonna need to get out and grab a coffee or something very soon.  I am getting that burnt-out feeling, and that's never good.  Oh yeah, and I also picked up a sinus infection this weekend.  So, I am really feeling run-down.  I take comfort in knowing "this too shall pass."



Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Skinny Sweet Apple Treat

So, here is something I have been doing for a while in order to get in my weight watchers fruit.  I peel and cut up and apple, add cinnamon, microwave for 5 minutes (for 3 apples, I did 6 minutes), add Splenda, and serve.  I gave some to my boys today, and they loved it.  Best part - it is ZERO WW points!

S often unconsciously does anime eyes when he smiles.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Overloaded Weekend

I clearly underestimated my workload when I agreed to do more than I should have this weekend.  I had another paper to do for my class, along with 2 smaller assignments, I agreed to attend Art Walk with some friends, and I also had something to type up for my church.  It really didn't dawn on me me that I had overloaded myself  until right before the weekend.  I juggled my time management and got everything done.  I even had half a day to spare after completing my paper and assignments. 

This isn't the first time I have overloaded myself and said yes to doing without really thinking them through.  Now, I think I have finally gotten the message.  I need to stop and think before accepting invitations or making commitments.  I know I can get them all done, but it really isn't good for me to be overloaded, stressed, and crunched for time.  It makes it even more difficult now that I have a family.  Let's face it.  I need downtime in order to function so that I can just do my best at life.  If I am thoughtlessly making commitments, something is gonna suffer.

This weekend, everything turned out okay.  Next time, it may not.  So, let this blog be my witness.  I am gonna try to think things through before making commitments from now on.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Diet Accountability Update

Well, I failed at keeping my points for the last 2 days at 29.  I used 30.5 on Wednesday, and yesterday I used 39.  I have that whole nursing-a-baby cushion thing.  So, I still had a loss this week of 1.4 pounds which brings my grand total to 8.4 pounds since I started this plan 4 weeks ago.  I might be on a forced diet hiatus soon, though.  This week's food budget is lacking due to unforeseen circumstances, so I might not be able to purchase the extra fruits and veggies that I need.  Don't worry, I'm not quitting just yet.  I am just gonna take it one day at a time.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Taking A Break

Today was a big chore day for me.  I did a lot before and during the kids' nap time.  I didn't get to the bathrooms yesterday, so I had to get to them today on top of other things.  Anyway, I got the important maintenance chores done.  I am taking a little break before preparing for dinner.

As far as my 2-day diet accountability (from the previous post), I managed to keep it to 30.5 points yesterday, but I think I will be about 5 points over by the end of the day today.  But, that is how I have been doing it  pretty-much every week and with the breastfeeding, it seems to be okay (excuses, excuses, I know.)  Tomorrow morning is my weekly weight check.  I will post an update on that here, even if it's bad.

I will be busy with another research project due this Sunday night, but I am hoping to get it knocked out by tomorrow night, because I have plans for most of the weekend.  I will share pics and updates on here, of course.
 
It has been a short, but very busy week.  I have posted a few things on my other blogs this week.  Just check out the links in the heading if you wanna have a looksie.  Hope everyone makes it through Friday and has a great weekend.  Ciao!

--Misty

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Posting For Diet Accountability

I am nearing the end of my fourth week on my diet.  I weigh again on Friday.  Since I went out of town, I used all of my flex points for the week already.  (Those are your 49 extra weekly points you can use on top of your 29 daily points.)  That means I have just my 29 points left for both today and tomorrow.  I decided that since it is hard for me to do the 29 points each day, I will post a blog about it in order to keep myself accountable.  I figure that if I have to update this blog in 2 days with my progress, that should motivate me to use only my daily points.  So, here goes nothin'! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Just To Be On The Safe Side

Just to be on the safe side, we headed to Texas during tropical storm Lee.  My thinking was that even if it wasn't going to be a big deal, it would be better to be stuck somewhere with power and little chance of flooding than to be stuck here with that possibility and the 3 little ones.  So, we made an impromptu visit to Texas.  We did have a nice time visiting, and I think the grandparents really enjoyed seeing the kids.

Kyle cooked for us on Labor Day.  We were supposed to come back the night before, but I had a paper due in my online UL class, and the drive would have made it impossible to finish in time.  So, we stayed another night.  I got my paper and assignments in just before their due time on Sunday night.  (Whew!)  It was very close, because I underestimated my assignment.  When I read "essay," I thought that would mean about 1 page, but it meant a 2-3 page research paper.  My bad!  Anyway, I pulled it off.

Oh yeah, one more interesting thing that happened this weekend was that while visiting my grandparents' church, JM got to go sit with us during "big church," because he has just turned 4 years old.  He loved it!  He actually conducted himself very well.  And, while I worked on my paper Sunday night, he and S put on their oun church service in the living room.  JM was the pastor, and S was the worship leader.  They were so cute!  I only got to see a little bit due to my paper, but they were keeping everyone else entertained.  Who knows?  Maybe they will get a call to ministry someday.

We got back here last night, and everyone is out of our routine.  So, I am gonna try not to stress out too much today.  I have decided to do bathrooms tomorrow since the kids probably won't nap well today.  Ah, back to life.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Looks Like Another Storm Is Headed Our Way

Some of you may not know that I was living in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.  Thankfully, I had family in Lafayette so I was able to evacuate safely.  I have been a Louisiana girl for the majority of my life, even though I was born in Texas.  Either way, I am acutely aware that storms and evacuation are a reality here.

It looks like there will be some sort of storm this weekend.  The weather models are very uncertain, but we are already getting mentally prepared for whatever might come our way.  This time around, the first thing that we did was pray for God's protection, guidance, shelter, and provision.  We will continue to pray for these things.  If you are reading this and you want to pray for our family and the families living near the Gulf, I would really appreciate that.  I will be praying for all the families as well.

I am not sure at all what we will be doing if we evacuate, but we have family that would happily provide shelter if we need it.  I am thankful for that.  I will try and update this blog if I can. 

*On a completely different topic, if you had seen my other blog about Swagbucks, I just updated it.  I quit swagbucks.  It was a very negative experience.  You can read about it here: http://miccheck123.blogspot.com/2011/09/swagbucks-scam.html

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Potty Training Blues

We are potty training S for the second time.  The first time didn't take, and he isn't very enthusiastic this time, either.  We told him that he can wear his new "Cars" (the movie) underwear as soon as he poops in the potty 2 times.  While he is interested in this, he still doesn't even want to spend his time on the potty.  To top it off, JM has been wetting the bed about 5-7 nights a week ever since we moved to this house the first of the year.  So now, we have 2 bed-wetters.  The only solution we have found for JM is to put clean clothes and a towel on his dresser so that he can clean himself up in the middle of the night.  Unfortunately, we still have to get up with S, and the wet laundry is getting ridiculous.

I see many other people who get their boys to train by 2 and a half, and I just don't understand why my boys don't.  JM trained just before age 3, but then went into this state of regression that doesn't seem to have an end.  So yeah, this is a difficult stage. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

One Of Those Busy Days

Today has been one of those super busy days.  I brought all 3 to WalMart this morning, and that's always an adventure.  S is potty training (again.)  And, today is the day I do my bathrooms.  To top all of that off, I had lots of laundry to do and the usual dishes (we don't have an electric dishwasher.)  So, I am planning on chillin' with some coffee in a few when I take the boys outside.  Tonight begins our Tuesday night Bible study semester again, which means more rushing to come.  Hopefully, we can get dinner and baths done in time to be out the door by 6 pm.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Diet Update

Well, I started following the weight watchers plan 2 weeks ago.  I weighed today and I am 5.4 pounds down.  What do I think of the plan so far?  There are pros and cons, but I think the pros outweigh the cons. 

The bad news is that a diet is a diet.  I think that any time you diet, it is gonna be challenging.  You are still practicing a discipline, and our nature tells us to fight it.  The other thing about it is that you have to measure your food, figure out the points value, and eat particular things to keep it balanced.  The last challenge that I have faced is making family meals.  I don't have a stockpile of recipes with nutrition information yet.  And, I have been winging it as far as family meals.  We have been eating lots of salads, and I have a couple of things for the family.  But, that's an area that I really need to expand if I want things to work long-term.

The good news is that this diet is not as restrictive as most diets.  You have your flex points every week that make it possible to have treats in moderation, and you can use the weight watcher's food companion and dining out guide to quickly know how to count your points.  The points calculator makes it easy to figure out the points when you have the nutrition information.  An advantage that I have right now is that half of my family members are doing this plan.  So, I have a lot of support and people to answer my questions.

Right now, I am just taking everything day by day.  I actually went 5 points over my limit this week and still lost weight.  So really, the biggest challenge for me will be staying consistent.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Week of August 22

Ugh!  This week has been difficult.  We came back from Texas for JM's birthday, and the boys are a bit spoiled.  It happens a little every time they go see relatives, but this visit was a birthday party.  That makes it even worse. 

JM has been more difficult this week, but S got spoiled as well.  People keep giving them both gifts when one of them has a birthday.  I know that one day that will probably come back to haunt someone, and that someone will most likely be me.  One way or another, the boys will have to learn that everyone has their day.  And, we don't always get gifts when someone else has their day.  It's a nice thought that people care so much about my kids, though.  The boys are very blessed.

I was supposed to start the boys back into their "school time" this week, but things have been so crazy that it's been hard getting back into the swing of things.  But, for those of you that don't know, they aren't even school-age yet, so it isn't a big deal.  I just want to prepare them for what's to come, so I do a few short sessions of "school time" with them during the week.  Real school will start next year for JM.  He will be in kindergarten, and I am going to attempt homeschooling.  I will probably have S follow along and see how he does.  He is noticeably advanced for his age, but I won't push him to do anything he isn't truly ready for.

Speaking of school, my class at UL started this week.  I am doing it online, so it shouldn't be too difficult. 

I am so ready for the weekend.  Saturday, I am taking the kids for pictures.  I got a special email offer from the Wal-Mart portrait studio.  Supposedly, it is going to be a $50 deal on a package valued at $200.  I guess I will see when I get there.

Tomorrow makes 2 weeks since I started the diet, and I will post an update on the Broomsticks page then.

I have new stuff up on my other pages as well:
JM's Texas Birthday, Kristen Schluter Photography, and How Can I Be A Blessing (Remodeling My Life For Christ)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Going From 2 Kids to 3

I have heard some people say that it is harder to go from one kid to two than from two to three and vice versa.  So, what do I think?  I think that at least the first few months with a newborn are going to bring about their own challenges.  But putting that aside, I would have to say that it was probably harder for me personally going from one to two than two to three.

One thing I found out in going from two to three was that I really needed to get more organized.  That is still something that I struggle with, but I do have a basic system in place now.  I don't always keep my schedule exact, but I follow it the best I can.  And when I don't, I notice that there is a lot more chaos in the house.

The other factors that come into play with my particular situation is baby temperament, and possibly gender.  My third baby has been much more calm than the other two, although my second was still fairly easy-going.  As far as gender goes, I don't know what it is like to have a toddler girl, yet.  But, I do know that having toddler boys is pretty wild and loud.  I don't know if I am being gender-biased or not, and forgive me if I am.  But, it does seem that boys are more difficult through the toddler-through-elementary years than girls are.  But, I have heard that girls can be more difficult teenagers.  I would think that the teen years are going to have their own issues, and gender wouldn't affect them that much.

Anyway, where I am now with the kids is a fairly decent place.  I can actually see the boys making progress in their behavior, and R hasn't hit that stuff yet.  So, despite moments of chaos, I would say that going from two to three is manageable if you take things as they come.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cottage Cheese With Berries

A friend of mine suggested this to me as a good diet food.  It's cottage cheese with berries.  You can sweeten it if you like.  She mentioned honey, but I added Splenda.  This is a good food for weight watchers or any diet.  You have dairy, protein, fruit, and antioxidants.  I used fat free cottage cheese and frozen blackberries thawed in the microwave.  Credits go to Anne Marie and Alicia for the suggestion.

Monday, August 22, 2011

NEW NEW NEW!

I have finally got this blog up and running!  The blog is in one last transition phase, and that is for the domain name.  The domain name should be transitioned from broomsticksandbananasplits.blogspot.com to broomsticksandbananasplits.com within 3 days.

I got the header and background done.  Special thanks to Kristen Schluter (Kristen Schuler Photography) for capturing a picture of a banana split for my header, and for her work taking various shots of our family to add to the blog.  I just added a family pic to the "Meet The Fam" section if you wanna check that out.  You can see more of Kristen Schluter Photography here: Kristen Schluter Photography Session 1

More stuff to come!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Postpartum Breastfeeding, and Migraine Associated Vertigo

I hope that this post will shed light on these symptoms.  I have been nursing R.  She's almost 5 months old.  I have been having dizzy spells and vertigo on and off lately.  I have had headaches on and off since I first gave birth.  I looked up the symptoms, and found nothing as far as an explanation.

But, I did find a few forums of women who were nursing and experiencing the same thing.  Many of them had even had tests run and visited doctors who came up with no explanation.  Some common themes included: changes in frequency of nursing, postpartum hair-loss, getting your first period back, possible low blood-sugar, and depression or anxiety.

From what I can gather just from my own assessment, it seems as though some nursing mothers may experience Migraine Associated Vertigo (MAS - headaches with vertigo or dizziness), possibly as a result of 
low blood sugar or some sort-of breastfeeding side effect.

But, I am not a medical professional.  So, I want to call attention to this on my blog.  Maybe someone can shed some light on this.  Here are the main 2 forum threads that deal with this issue:
http://www.breastfeeding.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48042
http://www.mvertigo.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2415

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Kindness of Strangers

I went to run errands today and brought the kids.  Of course we are in Sam's and JM has to go potty really bad.  I told him to hold it until we could get out of there, but, in the checkout line, he kept asking to go.  I felt bad, but I had the boys in the basket with R's infant seat.  I didn't even think it would be possible to take him there.

The lady in the line next to me volunteered to watch S and R for me while I took JM.  The lady in front of me helped, too.  I know it's crazy to trust a total stranger these days, but I WAS in Sam's.  There are cameras all over, and you have to stand in another line just to get out the door.  So, I ran him to the restroom, which was actually nearby.  We were back in a jiffy.  I just sanitized his hands when we got back to the cart, because I keep a sanitizer bottle in my purse. 

Wow!  What a nice thing she did for me!  It's so nice to know that even in this day and age there are still kind-hearted people out there.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pregnancy Weight Woes - Part 2

It's really weird for me to be blogging about this, because it could definitely blow up in my face.  When you are dieting and you go public, you are just asking for trouble.  Basically, if I fail miserably, the whole world (or the blog world) knows. 

People are gonna look at me and literally size me up.  Or, they will think: "Should she be eating that?  Is that on her alleged diet?" 

But, I guess it doesn't matter what people think, right? 

Who starts a diet on a Friday, anyway??  I started yesterday without having my diet groceries, and with very little enthusiasm.  I raided the pantry for sources of healthy veggies, and somehow I made it work. 

This morning, I went shopping for fruits, veggies, and extras for the diet.  I really hope I can do this with my minimal grocery budget, but time will tell.

Today, I had a little more motivation, since I was more equipped with foods.  I also remembered that I will be in pictures next weekend, and that is gonna keep me motivated... at least for this week.

I already put together some healthy things to eat, and I will share some on my blog soon.  And, I managed to get in a 25 minute workout today (although, I don't plan on making Saturdays a routine workout day.)

Anyway, here goes nothin'!  If you see me in a month, I ask that you please don't scrutinize too much.  All I can do is try.

Here's my massive fruit basket, which is only about a third of my fruit and veggies haul today.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pregnancy Weight Woes

As a nursing mother, I have found it very difficult to diet lately.  The desire is there, but the drop in blood sugar makes me very cranky.  Then add to that the fact that I have 2 toddlers who know how to push my buttons, and it makes for a very difficult day.

So, I am trying a different eating plan today.  I am testing out the Weight Watchers plan.  I am debating on whether or not to join.  If I do, it will be online.  I can't afford to spend an extra $40 a month on meetings.

I have heard rave reviews from friends and family members.  My mom just joined this week.

The main concern I have is figuring out the logistics of it.  It's kinda like learning a new skill to try and figure out the points.  But, I guess it's worth a try considering that these pounds won't lose themselves.  So, I will go ahead and test the waters and let you know how that goes.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Star Chart For Rewarding Good Behavior

We are trying something new to encourage the kids to behave in situations they struggle with.  So, we are offering them an opportunity to earn stars for a star chart.

They may earn stars by being good at bedtime, nap time, during "school time," and when watching their educational video.  So that adds up to a possible 4 stars a day.  This comes with a zero tolerance stipulation.  Stars will not be earned easily.

The real motivator is that if they collect 25 stars, they earn a dollar to spend at the dollar store.  They are excited.  We started today, but didn't have school time today, so they had 3 chances to earn stars. S was the only one to earn a star, and he earned only one star.  But, they were visibly motivated.  They improved so much tonight at bedtime.  They almost got a star... but not quite.  I am sticking to my guns on how difficult it is to earn a star.

We will just have to wait and see if this works.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I Don't Have The Patience To Wait (Introduction)

This blog IS still under construction, but I can't wait that long, so I am gonna start posting anyway. 

Here's an introduction.  My name is Misty.  I am a married mother of 3, ages 3 and under.  (JM will have a birthday soon, so it'll be 4 and under.)  We are living very tightly as a one-income family.  But, I am thankful that my husband even has a job in these tough times for our nation.
 
I love writing.  In the last few months, I decided to give up my personal facebook page and throw myself back into blogging.  It has been a really fun hobby for me and a great way to break up the monotony of daily life.  My blogs as of now have been really more personal or more geared towards friends and family.  But, new inspiration has hit me.  And, I am just gonna go with it. 

I have been inspired to create this blog to reach a wider audience of homemakers and moms.  At this point, I have lots of ideas.  I can only hope that the momentum of inspiration will last. 

I will be editing the design off-and-on for the next few weeks, so bear with me.  In the meantime, I will just start posting.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

This blog is currently under construction

This is a work in progress.  I will be posting lots of stuff here soon.  The focus of this blog is my life as a christian mom.  This will include things I'm learning, recipes, tips, pregnancies, and daily living.  Please come back soon.


While you wait, you can check out my current personal blog pages.  :-)
Misty-isms
Misty's Family Pics N More
Remodeling My Life For Christ