Thursday, November 4, 2010

To my Kaylin:

Before you were born, I protected you and kept you safe.
When you were born, I cried tears of joy looking at your beautiful face.
After you were born, I held you when you cried and fed you when you were hungry.
When you smiled for the first time, you made me my heart melt.
When you got sick, I worried a lot.
When you learned to crawl, I learned how much more you could find on the clean floor than me!

Today you are six months old and it is bittersweet how the time has gone by so quickly.
You are growing up so fast.
Everyday you change just a little bit more.
I love you Kaylin Jayde, you are my life, my happiness and my everything!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Beginning and the End

Today I learned a very valuable life lesson I would like to share. My mother, step dad and sisters came up this weekend to visit my Grandfather who is in a nursing home. He has been there a little over a year, and there are many problems which cannot be fixed with medicine. One thing he does have is Alzheimer's which has robbed him of his thoughts and memory. This to me is one of the worse things a person could ever have.

This picture was taken today. My Grandfather was giving Kaylin a kiss on the cheek during our visit. I will remember this moment for as long as I live because it was absolutely beautiful.

The lesson I learned today that I have always had in the back of my mind but never really thought about it was not to take life for granted. At the beginning of life you are born into a family that takes care of you, feeds you, changes you, and loves you. While growing up you learn right from wrong and how to treat others with respect. What people take for granted is that lesson we all learned as young children about how to respect one another. The golden rule, do unto others as you would have done to yourself. As we mature and gain a personality of our own, we learn many different emotions, love, hate, compassion, anger, and many others. One emotion I am guilty of having is anger. It took 27 years and a couple weeks to figure out that you do not get anywhere if your life is driven by anger. If your neighbor does something you do not like, what good does it do to get mad about it? You have just wasted an hour of your life with an emotion that does nothing for you, but cause stress. For what?

In the middle of your life after you have figured life out as a teenager and determined you are invincible, you have your own children. These children are your future and will need to learn right from wrong and valuable lessons in life just like we did as a child. If you are consumed by hate and anger, your children will also live this kind of life. If you remain calm and continue to treat people well, your children will be the same way.

Once we get old and retire, we get grand kids to spoil! I just had my first child so I cannot imagine how much love a Grandparent would have for their grand kids. Same lessons in life apply to this new generation as it has for the past three. This is also when health begins to deteriorate. From my experience, watching a very strong and loving man like my Grandfather go from a hard working man to a physically weak and memory deprived man, is very depressing. He never did anything but care and love his family and work hard so none of his children ever had to work. This is the end, and it happens to a lot of families the same way. It seems like such a long painful journey, but when it is over, it seems so sudden. I hate to see my Grandfather hurt.

After that being said, I have learned that fancy cars, money, looks, even friends all fade over time. Two things we should never take advantage of is family and your life. Holding grudges makes it impossible to seek forgiveness from those who you have wronged, and talking badly about people only makes life more stressful because you are worried about some meaningless situation. After seeing my almost 5 month old daughter and my Grandfather together today, it made me realize I need to cherish life and let the little things go. Time is so limited, live each day like it could be your last!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ten rules to abide by while Driving...

So, as I drive down the road some days it is more frustrating then others because people seriously need lessons on how to drive. Here are my ten rules any human can and should follow:

1. If you have a cell phone and you feel the need to talk on it while driving, shove that thing where the sun doesn't shine because you CAN'T pay attention to your surroundings while talking to Amber about the prom last night. I am guilty of this too, but I pay attention to the road while I am driving!

2. Cars were invented with turn signals... USE THEM. If you feel the need to cut someone off at least have the courtesy to use the turn signal. There is no reason to make me or any other driver on the road slam on the brakes because you feel the need to be a jackass.

3. The speed limit is there for a reason, if it says 55 mph, feel free to do 55 mph or maybe 10 over. Nobody likes to be on four lane road and get stuck behind someone going 10 under. It is annoying and time consuming.

4. For the love of everything holy, please do not tail gate me, I will slow down and go 20 until you get off my bumper. There is a reason my car has a sticker that says baby on board...

5. If you have kids in your car, put a seat belt on them. Most people think you look like a redneck if you allow your children to bounce around the car while you are driving, not to mention it is unsafe. One more thing about kids in cars, why are you smoking with little Jack in the car? Protect your valuable assets.

6. Get out of my blind spot! If you can't go around me at least get right next to me in case I have to get over. Accidents can be avoided by staying where other drivers can see you.

7. If you are passing me because I am driving a little slower than your liking, don't get in front of me and go the speed limit. Obviously you were in a hurry to get around me.

8. There are 10 feet between the yellow and white lines, if you cannot keep your car in between those lines, get off the road. Old people, this includes you too. If you take 30 seconds to turn and there is oncoming traffic coming at you, SPEED UP. Looking out the window and seeing a vehicle coming at me going 45 mph scares me!

9. Just because you are driving a Porsche doesn't mean you need to be a jerk and weave in and out of traffic. Nobody likes it, you do not look cool and if you want to speed through the cars, get on a race track.

10. Don't drink and drive. Too many lives are lost and you get to live because you are too drunk to feel anything.   My friends and family's lives are far more important than your need to drink and drive.

Yep, that's all I got!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

To you Kaylin

Just over a year ago we found out you were on your way. Your dad was happy and confident and I was nervous and happy and scared all at the same time. Finally we got out of the first part of pregnancy, Yay, three months down and still going strong! Right around Christmas we got the best gift of all! We found out you were a little girl and mommy could dress you up in pink and cute little dresses anytime! Next came March, on the first day of spring, we had your baby shower and you got so many gifts. Lots of toys, clothes, and tons more.

On May 5th, you came into our lives. What a wonderful experience, just to see your pretty little face and hold you for the very first time. It still brings tears to my eyes to think just how precious you are. The first moment I held you was surreal. I thought to myself how awesome it was that very moment as you stopped crying when you were put into my arms. Time stood absolutely still while you were sitting in my arms. The pain was gone, and I knew you were perfect from that first moment.

Each day that goes by brings us great joy to know you are happy and healthy! You are already four months old and every day your personality gets more exciting each day. From the moment I kiss you and tell you I love you each morning before work until the time I get home all I can do is think about you!

To my beautiful daughter, I love you and will be here for you always when life throws you curve balls!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Homeschool: Pros and cons...

Homeschooling has become a lot more popular over the years. As someone who has first hand experience with being home schooled (only for a year) and seeing my sisters being home schooled for a large majority of their education, I can honestly say, it does have a lot of benefits.

Some of the pros I have noticed while seeing my mother home school my sisters:
Educational freedom; say you have to go to the doctor and the drive is longer, with homeschooling, a person would be able to either double up a day and take that day off, or just add that day to the end of the year (similar to how a snow day works). All holidays are off, you could chose to have spring break for the kids, or if one of your kids gets sick, there is always the option of taking the day off so he or she can recover.

Location: One can home school a child from any place in the house or otherwise. Say its a really nice day, in a typical brick and mortar school a child would have to sit in the classroom and look out the window. Homeschooling a child gives a person an option to sit outside, or go to a park, basically whatever is comfortable to the teacher and student.

Religious freedom: If your family chooses to practice Buddhism or Christianity, your child is not being peer pressured or bullied because of his/her beliefs. With new stances on bullying in schools recently, why risk your child's well being because of some kids that want to pick on them?

Family life: One of the things I noticed while seeing my sisters being home schooled was how close they became. They did everything together, and sometimes still do. Just depends on whether my sister with a car has a date, or has to work!

Kaylin after the beach!
Intelligence: I have seen a lot of smart kids in my time, but I would put my sisters education as home schooled children up against any kid who is placed into a public school. One on one education is better because the child gets the specific help they will need in whatever subject possible. It would be the same teacher for each class, so the child would not be learning at the least 7 different teachers teaching styles (I say 7 because a lot of schools have 7 periods in the day). Neither of my sisters have ever had any type of voice/art/music training before and Becky my 17 year old sister can sing and has a great ability to write. She has won contests for her writing abilities! Laurie can sing, she has recently started teaching herself how to play piano (by ear) and can draw. They didn't learn these skills from a public school.

Some of the cons:

Socialization: Unless a parent puts their children into an activity like sports or a day camp, kids have very limited ability to interact with other children their age. While some may say that socialization doesn't make much of a difference, it really does. College is a culture shock for a rural child going into a big city! The town I lived in while I was living with my mother and step father had a very limited amount of people of race/religion.

24/7 time with kids: This may not be a problem for some parents, but others do like to have their alone time away from their kids. Until the kids get a little older, there really is not a lot of free time a parent would have.

Financial issues: Typically, one parent would do the majority of the teaching so the ability to work full time would not be feasible. So, it would remove one income which for obvious reasons would make life a little more challenging.

Despite the pros and cons, homeschooling is the best education a child can receive because its one on one. My sister has a chance right now at a full ride scholarship, doesn't seem like a bad way to go right?!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cloth diapering

As the time goes on and I learn more and more about being a mom, I have gotten a lot of good advice regarding cloth diapering. While it might seem a lot more difficult, it really isn't how people think. There are new things now that are nothing like what most imagine when you say cloth diapering.

When I first starting talking to a friend about cloth diapers, I thought, wow, what a time consuming hassle. Not to mention after looking at the cost of the covers, liners, and inserts, there was no way I could afford all that! Eventually though, I came around to the idea that it wouldn't be nearly as expensive as disposables because its a one time deal. It's roughly $200 to get started and have a good supply so you aren't doing laundry all day long.

Kaylin in her Gdiaper!
There are several different types of cloth diapers out there. I got the BumGenius 3.0's at first thinking they would be pretty good. Well, they are, but I wasn't a fan of how thick they were on my baby. So I looked into the GDiapers. Not only are they effective, but they are really cute! There a several colors and I love the design. The velcro part goes toward the back so when a baby gets a little older, they do not pull the tabs.

For this type of diaper, there are 3 parts. The cover, the liner (it snaps in) and the insert which comes in cloth or disposable/flushable. The disposable/flushable inserts are much more expensive, and will not save you money in the long run, but they are better for the environment since they can be flushed or composted. The cloth inserts are cheaper in the long run, but expensive up front. Like I said before, the tabs go on the back side of the baby, but think of it this way, you "pre-load" your cloth diaper, its essentially the same as a disposable.

There are several types of detergents you can use with the inserts and covers, the kind I have found that works well is Arm and Hammer Essentials. It smells great! I walked into my daughters room this morning and that's what it smelled like!

It might seem like a lot of work, and it is, but it really is worth it. Babies don't get rashes as often with these either! Happy readings!

And so it begins...

Just a little bit about me, I am a 26 year old, happily married mom of a beautiful baby girl named Kaylin. My family is my life and everything I have ever wanted.

A little back history, I was born in Illinois in 1983, lived here until 88' and my mom moved to Beloit Wisconsin with my ex-stepdad. We lived there for roughly a year and then moved down to southern Indiana. The town was Tell City. We moved to 10th street into a white house with green shutters (or so I remember). I went to school at the elementary school, and eventually we moved to Rome Indiana. I started my 3rd grade at Perry Central where I would later graduate from. My mom ended up marrying my step father Bryan and has been married to him ever since.

In 93' my first little sister was born. She is graduating this year and is one of the smartest young people I have ever met. In 95' my other little sister was born. She just so happens to be one of the most talented people I have had the pleasure to know. Both of my sisters mean the world to me and I wish them both the very best in life.

In 2002, I graduated from high school and the day after my graduation moved back to Illinois to live with my dad and go to college. Well, college didn't quite pan out the way I had hoped. I did meet my first husband in that time, got married and joined the Navy. Wow, talk about a mistake! Getting married at 19 is the worse idea for anyone! We will talk about the pros and cons of getting married young at a different time. To make a really long story short, that relationship and career choice did not work out too well. However, out of every bad situation something good comes.

In November 2005, I met Alex! Of anyone I have met, he is by far the one who has helped me grow as a person. Without him, my life just would never have been the same. We met on Yahoo Personals as crazy as some may think that is. I remember the day we met like it was yesterday. It was a cool day, we decided to meet each other at a gas station (for safety reasons), we went to breakfast at what was Spring Garden in DeKalb IL. We were both kind of nervous, him more so, he ended up getting coffee creamer all over me... After breakfast, we went back to my dads house and walked Chloe and Rose, the two American bulldogs I bought when I was in Washington state. We got back from the walk about 20 minutes before he had to go to back to school for the day and we stood outside talking and dancing around each other until we finally had our first kiss! It was magical, I had the butterflies in my belly like I still do to this day.

In May 2006, he graduated college, we were living at his moms house and both looking for jobs. We both landed jobs, mine is at a company doing technical support for online college students and he works for Verizon Wireless. We moved out of his moms house in May 2008 and got our new place! Ahh, fresh starts are wonderful! We have a dog named Riley too! He's a hyperactive almost 2 year old Collie.

Now the real adventure begins, September 2009 rolls around, I started having dreams about babies and my sister having a child. Something seemed a little off to me and I was starting to wonder, "Could I be pregnant?" Well, after waking up at 520am on Sept. 4th, I smoked a cigarette (to calm my nerves) went to the bathroom and took a test and sure enough, it said Pregnant! I'm sure I could have waited to wake Alex up with the news, but forget that, I was excited and nervous and wanted him to know. So I yelled at him to wake up and because he didn't have his glasses on, shoved the test (that I just peed on) in his face and said READ IT! That was the very last time I have smoked and have not looked back since. My soon to be baby was worth way more then an addiction.

We got married on my birthday, September 18th 2009, not because we were having a baby, but because we loved each of course! It was a plan to begin with, just didn't want to make a huge production out of having a wedding. In December, we found out this little baby we were having was a girl! Here comes the need to buy everything pink for my little girl!

Moving along into May 2010, our little girl was born! She's our Cinco De Mayo baby! Her name is Kaylin and has brought so much joy to our lives. From the moment I first laid eyes on her, I realized just how much love I actually had inside. This little girl has made all my hopes and dreams a reality. It is very hard to describe the words to express just how much she means to me. So now, we have almost come full circle from when we found out about our new addition. What a wonderful way to spend the last four months!

We have what some would call unconventional methods on parenting like co-sleeping and cloth diapering. This is all a new adventure for us, and hopefully I can get some people to read the blogs I post and give their views and ideas. Thanks all for visiting!