Tuesday, January 20, 2009

We're Home!

What a crazy last few days! We are now home safe and sound and more than a little bit weary. Here's how it went:

I got the call Thursday that my sister was going in to the hospital Friday morning for a version to try to turn her transverse baby, or she was going to have a c-section. (She had already decided that she wanted me there if she did have a c-section, just based on my experiences.) So after lunch, we packed up and headed to Fort Polk. We arrived a little after 10 pm, and after getting our stuff in, and settled, we got to bed around midnight. My sister and I got up at 4:30 am (well, she was up most of the night with contractions) to head off to the hospital at 5 am (not so great for the anti-morning person in me!). She got all settled into her room and the OB/GYN came in to discuss the procedure. The anesthesiologist came in a little later to get things started for the epidural (they only do the version with an epidural). We discussed the options for pain management if she went into a c-section. Then she got the epidural, and was wheeled into the OR for the procedure. The OB did an ultrasound to verify postion before they started and she had turned on her own after the epidural! What a blessing! She was back in her room around 8:30 am and they began the pitocin. The family practice doc came in to monitor labor. He took a VERY hands off approach, didn't break her water, and just let her labor and only checked on her after lunch, and then again before he turned her care over to the OB on call for the weekend. We had the strangest nurse for the day shift...it was almost like she was trying to remember how labor went and what she was supposed to be doing. At 7 pm, we got the new staff. The doc was great and so was the new nurse. They tried to hold her off until her hubby got there from Kansas, but he didn't make it...he was an hour away when the baby was born. She was born at 8:05 pm, weighed 8 lb 10 oz, and 20.75" long! I took some pictures, cut the cord, took more pictures and then handed the camera off to one of my sisters friends so that I could go get my kids and get them to bed. I think we got into bed around 10:30 that night. The next day, we took a morning nap before we went up to the hospital. We were able to visit for a while before the nurse from the day shift the day before remembered that there weren't supposed to be any kids under 14 in the rooms. So, we left and I honestly can't remember what we did for the rest of the day Saturday! On Sunday, we went to the commisary to shop for the ingredients I needed to prepare meals. It was so crazy, there were 5000 troops that came home from Iraq, and there was almost no food left there! By the time we finished that and dinner, it was 9:00 pm, so once again...a late night! On Monday I finished the ingredient shopping at Walmart. Then we began preparing meals and we put together 10 dinners and the one we ate that night before calling it a day! We finished dinner around 8:30 and then I had to get the kids baths before bed...so another late night! Today, we checked out of our hotel and went to my sisters house for school before leaving to come home!

We had a very busy, action packed few days! It will be a rough few days I am sure getting back into our routine. We did manage to stay up with school while we were gone. It did help that the older cousins had school to do too!

I have a few other thoughts that I am trying to put together that I will post later. But I will leave you with a sweet baby picture!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Niece

The TD Family has a new niece and cousin. My sister had her baby last night around 8 pm. Both mom and baby are doing wonderfully! Thank you for all of the prayers, they were answered and everything went smoothly and relatively quickly. I am off to see them again and if it's ok with my sister, I will post pictures.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Going off the Radar

OK, not really, but I will be out for a few days. My sister, Missy, will be having her baby tomorrow and the TD children and me are heading over there for a few days. Please pray for everything to go smoothly...things are looking a little rough right now. I will post more when I know more.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Big Weekend

We had a fun and very eventful weekend at the TD house! We went on a family hike at Jesse Jones park. I am not sure how far we walked, but we walked various trails for almost 2 hours. The kids played in the park and we had a picnic lunch. I can see that we will be having a few nature field trips there when the plants start blooming. There were so many things that we talked about even in winter, that I wish I would have had a nature journal ready for the kids to take along. I will be better prepared next time.

Examining the Cypress bark with Daddy.

Following Daddy down the trail.

One of the highlights of our trek was seeing 4 deer feeding on the side of the trail. We crept as slowly and quietly as we could closer and closer to the deer. From my perspective, they appeared to be does, but one, maybe two were fawns.

This shot is when we first spotted the deer on the trail edge.

Relaxing at the end of the hike.

Since my sister has not yet had her baby, I was called into duty as the best Aunt ever (OK, it's really just because I live in Houston), to get my niece and nephew to their gymnastics meet in Katy. So, N & C came in on Saturday afternoon to stay the night with us so I could get them to their meet on Sunday. It was a great venue and a fun time. It was the first time I was able to see them compete. N started competing first. She had sprained her ankle at Fridays practice, so she was only supposed to compete bars and beam. Well, she made the decision to compete all events. I guess it was good she did...she placed 3rd on floor! C did very well too. He competed all events and received medals for 3 of them. I don't remember the places, but he got a medal for vault, parallel bars and either rings or horizontal bar, I can't remember which. Unfortunately during his medal ceremony, I was trying to keep my eye on the two crazy girls, Princess TD and N. Here they are displaying their medals.

While Princess TD and I were gone at the meet all day, Mr. TD and Little TD got Little TD's bike ready for him to ride. We got it from our neighbor when he outgrew it last year. It is still in great shape, so we were grateful for the gift. Little TD's tricycle broke last week while he was riding it. It no longer turns the wheel when you pedal (it did go through 3 kids, so I guess it's just worn out), so we had to do something else. We thought we would try the "big" bike before we purchased a smaller one. Well, he LOVES it! He is doing great riding up and down the street, down driveways and up to the sidewalk. It's like he's been riding for ages! I guess he's a big boy now!

Friday, January 9, 2009

School Update

This week has be very productive. We have done school every day and they are even back to asking for it. The week started as a struggle, but I think we are back in the groove! So far Little TD is loving Little Hands to Heaven. He's even asking for his memory verse (which of course they don't have, so I am "substituting" Ephesians 6:1. That's a good start don't ya think?).

Here's some pictures from our days this week:

We have all kept up with the cough this week. It's not much fun, but I did check the pollen counts and they are extremely high, so I am doubling up on the vitamin C and the antihistamines. I am hoping that cures us all quick!

Monday, January 5, 2009

We've Got Spots

It's not that bad really...Princess TD had strep just before Christmas. She got antibiotics. She took them all. She got spots! Apparently that is a side effect of the antibiotic she took. It's not an "allergic" reaction, just a reaction. I am not sure what that means for the future, but you should have seen the looks we got at Wal-Mart when we were waiting in the pharmacy for her prescription! She gets her last dose of steroids tomorrow, but she still has spots. At least they are pink, her favorite color!

So, when we went to see the doctor on Friday, she had a little cough, now it's big! I am assuming it's her regular winter cold, or she caught another virus while taking antibiotics and steroids!

New Plan for a New Year

Note: I am posting this since several of my real life friends either ask me what I do, or find humor in the crazy things I have to come up with to train my children.

It really isn't a secret that we have some problems with Princess TD and taming her independence and strong will. I have been brainstorming to try to figure out how to encourage cooperation without completely demolishing the good things about being independent. I have been tossing around the idea of a type of reward system. This isn't your "typical" reward system. I really had to think outside the box on this one, because she does!

Here's my plan:

I have little fish cut-outs that I found at the local teacher supply. I have written on the back, "Caught Ya!" and a point value. These are intended to be saved to be redeemed for a reward. It is our intention to give them to her when she does something that demonstrates kindness to others (mainly family members), patience, respect of others and their property, or just does something extra helpful. They will always be given randomly and at our discretion, i.e., not every time she goes an hour without torturing her brother. (OK, it's really not THAT bad...)

The rewards were harder. I have talked to other parents and they use eating out, a book, a small toy, etc for rewards. My dilemma comes in here. Princess TD adores those kind of things, but they hold no power for her. She would rather maintain her stance, whatever that may be, than to give in for a meal out or a toy. So our rewards are more tailored for her, extra reading time, a game night on the night of her choice, computer time, staying up late, etc. Each reward has it's own point value and all require some "saving" before they can be redeemed.

There is one catch for her though, she can have points taken away. She will lose points when she intentionally hurts her brother, or is disrespectful to others and their property (mainly picking flowers from our neighbors flower beds but there are a couple of others).

I am hopeful that this system will work. Our sticker charts have worked well in the past, but stickers have somewhat lost their charm with her (unless she's playing with them). I am also hopeful that this will plant the seeds of budgeting, saving and delayed gratification. It is way early for that, but hopefully it will make more sense when we do get to that point. I can hope right?

Friday, January 2, 2009

School Changes

After struggling this fall with Little TD and schoolwork, I have made the decision to change what we are doing. I love the Letter of the Week curriculum and it worked very well with Princess TD, but Little TD doesn't seem to care so much for it. He seems to want more physical activity and things similar to what his big sister is doing. So, after careful thought and consideration, we are changing to the Heart of Dakota, Little Hands to Heaven curriculum for him. We will be starting on Monday with his new stuff. I hope he enjoys it more.

Happy New Year!

So I am a little late on this post, but we had a late night (or an early morning) on the 1st, so we're almost recovered now.

I have had a few moments to reflect on last year and think about the upcoming year the last few days. My assessment is that we are extremely blessed! We have more blessings than we can count. Here are a few that immediately come to mind, in no particular order:

  • My sweet and wonderful husband, Mr. TD. His back is healing. He has a new position with his company which we are excited about.

  • My children. Their kindness, sweetess and growth continue to amaze me daily.

  • My chiropractor who will see me at a moments notice. (Kind of strange I know, but when you "suffer" from the kinds of headaches I have this is a TREMENDOUS blessing.)

  • Homeschooling my babies. I adore teaching them and spending time with them. I can't imagine it any other way. (I plan to take and post more "school" pictures this year.)

  • Our families. We have great families who love us and our children very much.

  • Our friends. We are so blessed to have friends we can laugh and have fun with, or cry with, whatever the case may be.

  • God. He is great all the time!

I pray that all of you have a happy, wonderful and blessed 2009!