Thursday, November 27, 2014

I am glad for many things,
many things,
many things.
I am glad for many things
that are mine today.

Thank you, thank you,
my heart sings,
my heart sings,
my heart sings.
Thank you for the many things
that are mine today.

" in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you."

"If thou art merry, praise the Lord with singing, with music, with dancing, and with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving."

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

Monday, November 24, 2014

I am glad for many things

Our foster kids love to paint, so today I'm thankful to Walmart for having this awesome 24-pack of paints on sale for $9.99.  Using them, dry spaghetti noodles + Elmer's glue, and white spray paint, we made these awesome turkey feathers to hang up for Thanksgiving.  :)

Try not to be distracted by how badly you wish you had our carpet!  I know it's hard. :)


There was a scuffling and great thump: Someone else had clambered out of the tunnel, overbalanced slightly, and fallen.  He pulled himself up on the nearest chair, looked around through lopsided horn-rimmed glasses, and said, "Am I too late? Has it started? I only just found out, so I - I -" Percy spluttered into silence.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Friday, November 7, 2014

let's get real.

For those of you who don't know me in real life or otherwise don't know, Joel and I recently became foster parents.  There are hard parts, but overall we love it!  I have been thinking about some things lately, though, and ask as many of you as want to to chime in.  The invitation's extended to people who have young children, people who have had young children in the past, and people who were young children at one point and remember what their parents did.  And anyone else with something to offer. :)

I keep having questions come to mind that I want to ask other parents.  I need someone other than blogger moms to compare myself to.  Slash... I know I shouldn't be comparing myself at all, and it's really not that.  I really feel pretty good about my mothering and how I do it.  I guess I just read these articles and see pictures and want to know how REAL people really are.  

How much TV do you watch?  We watch about an hour a day - one episode of "Mister Rogers's Neighborhood" (a kids' TV show I love and don't get annoyed by like the shows our current kids like) and sometimes part of Dolphin Tale, which they love.  We would maybe watch more if they had a longer attention span... haha. :)  

What kinds of snacks do you eat?  Sorry, but we're mostly crackers.  I know we should be fruits and vegetables or string cheese or yogurt... but we're mostly crackers.  One ate a saltine cracker sandwich today for his snack.  I don't care if you judge; I feel fine about it.  I mean, we're not going to do that every day, but I feel fine about it doing it today.  

It was just Halloween.  What do you do about candy?  Ours probably eat like... five pieces a day.  Not always, but often I let them have one after a snack or meal.  It depends on how well they ate their real food.  I don't feel bad about it - candy stashes don't last forever and it's only been a week.  

I know this is a hard question to answer, but how much do you actively play with your children?  I've heard some people say it should be all the time; I've heard others say if you do half an hour dedicated playtime in a day, that's great.  I, personally, am a huge proponent of individual (and with other children) playtime.  I play with them a lot, but I also do a lot of sitting back and watching - or not watching.  I consider it a victory if they'll play in the backyard without me being outside.  I try to make sure they know I'm paying attention to them, and if I'm on the computer, I typically only do productive stuff (not checking Facebook, blogging, or reading blogs), but I think it's important to not always play with them.  They tend to use their imaginations better when I'm not actively participating and they learn about conflict resolution, and I like that.  When I play with them, we're dancing, reading, playing at the playground, or drawing on white paper usually.  We're not doing elaborate crafts, practicing writing in sand, or taking tours of cool factories.  

What about fruits and vegetables?  I give them one at lunch and one at dinner.  So... two-ish servings a day.  (How big is a serving of fruit / vegetable for a person who only eats half a cup of food?)  Sometimes we have apple or watermelon for a snack.  I should be better about that, but the excuse I'm giving myself is that they weren't raised with me, so I'm allowed to transition them into fruits and vegetables.  (The real reason is probably that I don't always think of it or feel like fighting when I think crackers are decently healthy.)  Also, we eat cereal for breakfast every day and a sandwich almost every day for lunch, usually with meat and/or cheese OR peanut butter.  

People talk about how parenting is so tiring and moms never take time for themselves.  It is tiring, I often have to get up a few times during the night with a crying child, and I'm worn out at the end of the day, but I also take a nap - or at least a close-eyed rest - every day.  Quiet time is about an hour every day after lunch.  Hopefully you didn't break anything while I was having mine and you were ignoring yours.  Oh, and when it's time for me to take a shower, want to watch the Disney channel?
EDIT: I don't say bring that up to say that people who say parenting is tiring are wrong or to say I do things better than anyone.  Parenting is DEFINITELY tiring and what works for me doesn't work for everyone.  It's just, when I wrote that paragraph, I had just barely read an article about a mother who was always putting herself on the back burner and wanted to say that doesn't need to be the case.  You're important, too!  (I didn't have any negative comments on this part, but it's just been sticking in my mind and rubbing me wrong, so I wanted to explain.:)

Oh, and we basically have no toys.  We have a lot of Legos, a lot of books, some plastic food, and a slide in our basement.  That's about it.  I love not having the clutter or needing to find places to put toys, and they really haven't seemed to need more than that.  Also, we hardly ever have to clean up.

So.  What is your parenting life like?


“I was a fool!” Percy roared.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Thursday, November 6, 2014

review: Sleep Number SleepIQ bed

As I've mentioned before, I'm a member of a website that gives me samples in return for reviews. (If you're interested in learning more about the website I use, here's a link:   I'm not a huge fan of putting random reviews of stuff on my blog - I prefer to review stuff that I find in my regular life and love :) - but I agreed to review this! (and I'm getting a free pillow for it, which I'm super excited about) so here we go...

We tried out the new Sleep Number SleepIQ bed recently, and it was cool! It has sensors in the air of the mattress (the part that firms or softens depending on your Sleep Number) that tracks breathing and heart rates during the night.  In the morning, it send the information to an app on your phone / ipad / etc. and tells you how you slept the night before.  It tells you when you were most restful, when you were moving around, and when you were out of bed, and then gives you a score out of 100 on your overall sleep.  Then you can use that information to improve your sleep the next night.  (For example, if you think your  sleep number is 35 but you only score 65%, change your number tomorrow and see if your score goes up.)

It's SUPER comfortable, but that's really just any Sleep Number bed.  I'd never tried one before and was amazed at how uncomfortable it made my bed at home (that I love) seem!  Haha :)

I really love the idea of this bed. I like that it tracks how well I'm sleeping and gives me feedback to help improve my sleep. I think, in that way, it's very unique. It's the only bed I've ever heard of that does that. I also like that the app allows you to keep track of what you do during the day that may affect your sleep - what you ate, whether you exercised, etc. I wish that it tracked more than heart and breathing rate, though. What would really put this bed over the top (in my opinion) is if it tracked REM cycles, too. Also, it's pretty pricey. I've never spent several thousand dollars on a bed before, and to be honest, if I wanted to get the kind of technology that the SleepIQ bed offers, I would probably just buy a FitBit or something for $100.

But you don't have to take my word for it! Here's a link with some more information about the Sleep Number SleepIQ bed if you're interested in trying one out for yourself:


This story, my dear young folks, seems to be false, but it really is true, for my grandfather, from whom I have it, used always, when relating it, to say complacently, “It must be true, my son, or else no one could tell it to you.”
“The Hare and the Hedgehog”