Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What I Call A Holiday

Our long weekend is over! But it was a pretty good one! We spent the weekend w/ our good friend the Johnson's, up till Monday. Our church had a big Memorial Day Fun Day planned, which we were all geared up to attend. But come Monday morning, we were tired, and dreading a day in the heat with tired and winey younguns. So we vegged out! We decided to do our own thing and have our own Acklen Fun Day. We haven't had very much time together as a family in the past couple of weeks, and we felt we needed to do that. So we had lunch at Nicky's (Mexican). It was delish! Then we went back to John's Dad's and got in the pool with our kids. Between the four and a half of us, the little 2-footer was full! But the water felt so good and the kids were soooooo excited that Daddy was playing in the water with them. It was a time to remember. After our swim, we all took a 3 hour nap together. We all slept like logs. Mamey fixed a delicious supper for us, and we continued to veg the evening through. Now I don't know about you, but that's what I call a holiday!

On another note, if all goes wells, we will spend Friday night in our new house! There has been a glitch with the electric company, who says the address of our house does not exist! No electric=no moving in. Arghg!! We're so close! I am going to add a link so y'all can see some pics of the house, and then I will add some more when we get in it. Keep checking back!

Monday, May 12, 2008

So much to blog about....

....so little time! Therefore I will categorize:

He is growing up so fast! His latest thing is "No, let me do it!" He is pottying by himself (#1 and #2)--I consider him completely potty trained--except at night, he still sleeps in a diaper. He undresses himself at bathtime. He buckles his own seat belt. He brushes his own teeth. I love to see his big smile and look of pride when he accomplishes something new like this. It is bittersweet, though. It means he is a big boy.
Last night he wanted to order his food at McDonald's "Old McDonald's", as he calls it. So John let down the window and told him to order. He said, "Um, yes, I'll get some french fries, aaaaaaaand chicken nuggets aaaaaaaaand milk shake aaaaaaaaand how 'bout a hamburger?" We were cracking up! It's a good thing the cashier couldn't hear him!

She is one great big bundle of personality!! People often comment on how articulate she is and how friendly. She loves to learn a new song, loves to eat, and looooooooves Barney! She gets so excited about Barney I'm afraid she is going to hyperventilate! She also loves Sunday School and singing in the booster band. Poppy has been riding her on the horses and she wants to ride all by herself, which gives Mama a cardiac attack. I am praying the entire time she is riding. Daddy has decided it is time to break the thumb-sucking habit (which makes me sad) so we are working on her. She is doing pretty good and will stop when she catches herself. She is a sasspot, too! She told her Daddy the other night, "Loook, Daddy, I'm sucking my thumb!" in a very sing-songy, stop-me-if-you-can tone!!!" What are we going to do with her?

I saw a new doctor last Tuesday, Dr. Popwell in Shreveport. I am excited about seeing him! He is going to allow me to try and have a vaginal delivery, but warned me we could wind up having to do a C-section if the baby goes overdue or if any complications arise. I will not be able to have any Pitossin (spell?), which is fine with me. It will be completely natural, except for maybe the assistance of cousin Epi. We will see how much I can handle. I have challenged myself not to go into the hospital until my water breaks. Fingers crossed, we shall see! The OB clinic has its own birthing center next door, and they do not send patients to the main hospital unless there are problems. That sounds sooo nice! Again, I am excited!

Dear Husband (sorry, girls, had to copy)
Loves his new job! The hours and benefits are great! The pay....well, that will improve over time. He passed a software test Friday that will knock out an entire semester of classes for him. He will be an accountant four months sooner! He has been offered a pell grant and a transfer scholarship, and between the two we should not have to take out any school loans. Isn't that a blessing?

The Housing Situation
Is frustrating times 85!! We look at about six houses yesterday, and none of them were impressive. Two were doable, but both needed work. We raised our price range $10,000, and still the houses were lacking in cosmetic appeal and space. We're talking 13-1400 square feet with country blue wallpaper and paneling! We are leaning towards a repo that has a 4th bedroom/playroom/whatever you want it to be and a workshop for John. The kitchen is miniscule, with about four cabinets, the appliances are ancient, the utility room is a walk-through and the bathrooms are tiny. Plus the bonus room has no carpeting--just bare cement foundation. This place needs work and they are still asking $95,000!!! Ghastly! But our realtor feels that since it is a repo we can shoot low (70-80s) and see if they bite. We are praying about it.

That's our life right now, still topsy-turvy. We are working at getting it righted again, but it is taking an agonizingly long time! The Lord is teaching us patience. I keep quoting the verse, "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." The Lord is sure building up our spiritual muscles. I know He has a plan and it is all under control. I rest in that. We are blessed to have a great church to go to in Shreveport, Old Paths Holiness Church. After only a few weeks, it already feels like home. For that we are very thankful.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Hard Lessons Learned

There are some things about Motherhood that you just have to learn that hard way. Here are a few that have bonked me over the head!

  1. Kids are "trained" in their behavior by what I DO, not just what I SAY. Ex: saying "thank you" when they hand me something or do something I've asked them to do. Saying "excuse me" after a belch. Asking the blessing before eating.
  2. Praise for a deed done right or good goes a loooooooooooooooong way. Much longer than criticism for doing or acting the wrong way.
  3. Breastfeeding is not easy. The first month or so is the most challening you will ever experience. But in the end, it's the most precious thing in the world. It also comes in handy when the plant across the room is a little dry and you're too lazy to get up and water it. Know what I mean? :) (aim, fire).
  4. It is stupid to think that you can sit for 1/2 on the computer or with your nose in a book and your kids will not do something terrible. It is doubly stupid to punish them in frustration for that terrible misdeed when it is your fault that you were absent from them for that length of time and left them to fulfill their deepest temptations. Come on! (I can't tell you how hard this lesson was).
  5. Do not expect your husband to come home and provide "disaster relief" after a bad day. Chances are, you will wind up stepping in and taking over anyway, because Daddies lack the Mommy instinct we have from nature and experience. Just say a silent prayer for strength and get through it! Your husband will most likely be more willing to share your burden if he is not nagged into it!


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Thinking Outside The Box

The days have been so long lately, but establishing a routine (read last post) has helped the time to go by faster. Today, I got things a little out of order and it interrupted the flow of the day, but sometimes you just gotta roll with it. After the kids' hour of cartoons was over, they were not content with toy time. They had several fusses over "mine" , which is rare for them, so I felt it was time to step in. I went to the toy box and pulled out all the blocks I could find and put the kids on top of the pool table with the block pile. They were as excited as if they had just received a brand new toy, and played quietly for at least 30 minutes. The blocks were there all along, but the toy box is so full of stuff that they are probably overwhelmed by the selection. I think it is easier for them when things are compartmentalized. So I decided when we get into our house, I am going to try and do that with their toys: books here, puzzles here, finger-sized animals and people there, etc.
Speaking of houses, we think we have settled in on one house. I have some issues with it, which are mainly:
(1) Its remote location away from anything I am familiar with or anyone I even know by name
(2) its closeness to the houses on each side
(3) the condition of the neighborhood is kind of run-down, mainly due to the fact that it is an older neighborhood with couples on the brink or well into senior citizenship who have let their houses and yards GO (albeit safer than young rif-raf, I guess).
(4) There is no rear entry to the backyard, which is a good size, but the kids will have to have 100% supervision anytime they want to go outside--how often will I be able to do that with an infant?

The pros are:
  1. It is a cute house, especially on the inside. The real estate agency accurately described it as "a doll house". It has been recently remodeled with new cabinets, floors, and paint.
  2. It is move-in ready and we wouldn't have to do any work to it.
  3. The owners are motivated to sell and it looks like we will get a really good deal on it, which means we will be able to purchase some new furniture (direly needed).
  4. It has a dishwasher!!!!!!!!!!!!
  5. It is close to the church we will be attending.
  6. It is ten minutes from John's office.

If all goes planned, we are going to make an offer and see how it goes!