Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Life insurance

Do you have life insurance? It's hard to justify this when we are "just stay at home moms". But, we decided to cover me for life insurance. It's important to my family's well being.

insure your love logo

Ask any Mom on the street why she does the things she does for her family, and the answer will likely be simple - love. Our love for family, and desire to show it, drives just about everything we do as Moms. Whether baking cupcakes until midnight the night before your child's classroom party, dressing up like a princess to host a tea party with your kids or working overtime to be able to afford a special family vacation - sometimes we're willing to do just about anything for love.

And with the holiday dedicated to love just around the corner, it might be time to look past heart-shaped chocolates and consider a different way of expressing your love...with the purchase of a life insurance policy.

You might be asking yourself what love and life insurance in common. More than you might realize! Simply put, life insurance is a product you purchase because you love someone and want to make sure they'll always be protected financially, even after you're gone.

To learn more and add some laughter into your day, check out the video below, from a very special "spokesperson" who knows a thing or two about love.

video screenshot

As we know from the Valentine's Day celebrations taking place in classrooms and romantic restaurants everywhere, love and fun go hand-in-hand! To get Americans thinking about life insurance as an expression of enduring love, the nonprofit LIFE Foundation is sponsoring the Crazy4Love Photo Contest. From now until February 19, you'll be able to visit the popular microblogging website tumblr.com and share a photo that captures how you've expressed your love to someone dear to you. One Grand Prize winner will receive a $1,000 gift certificate toward a romantic getaway weekend. Go to
www.insureyourlove.org to learn more about the contest and to enter.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Today, I stayed home most of the day with Patrick. I didn't want to expose Manteca to his virus. I must say that he is getting cuter and cuter. He's really bonding with Steven and me, too. He's always loved Maggie, but now he wants us to hold him. He's been sick today and just wants us. Which would normally be kind of an annoying thing that he just wants to be held, but it's a good sign. He is bonding with us and wants us. It makes it easy to bond with him, too. He's so sweet and has cute little blond hair and sticks up in the back when he wakes up!

I got him to sleep tonight and I just laid down with Maggie to put her to sleep.She has been so cute, too. She wants to talk and snuggle a lot lately. Luckily, I have some love to give lately with these two kids!

Maggie wanted me to tell her stories about when I was little tonight. I told her a few stories and then she looked confused. She asked me why my mommy and daddy don't live together anymore. We talked about divorce and she asked a lot of questions. I told her that Daddy and I would never divorce. She put up her hand to the side of her mouth like she was telling me a secret and said "yeah, it's because he's cute!".

After that, I guess I fell asleep. I dreamed that I had just put Patrick to sleep and finally got Maggie to sleep. Then, I had to run an errand. I came back and they were both running around and going crazy. I was confused. Didn't I just put them to sleep? Steven told me that I hadn't, He said that I had dreamed that I had put them to sleep. So, I started the process again and started walking around with Patrick. Somehow I got lost and wound up on a path to someone's house. They turned the sprinklers on me and I was trying to get Patrick out of the sprinklers and back home. Then, I woke up.

How weird is it that I was putting my kids to sleep and had to put them to sleep two times in my dreams?!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Patrick visits the E.R.

So, Patrick started wheezing on Thursday. We've noticed that it's the first sign of a cold or congestion. We watched it on Thursday and he woke up worse on Friday, so I took him to his doctor. The doctor was concerned by the wheezing and thinks that he may be developing asthma.

Asthma is a very common ailment here. The central valley has one of the highest rates of asthma. I'm not sure why. Maybe because of allergens from the produce grown? A doctor told me that 1 in 4 kids in the valley have asthma.

He's been on an inhaler on and off for a while, but he had to have a breathing treatment at the office that day. That was a blast holding a screaming 7 month old ( who is very strong) for about 15 minutes. He was mad/sad/hungry/tired and didn't want me to hold him and give him the treatment. So, I held him down and breathed in most of the treatment. Patrick is the most easy going, sweetest little guy, except when he doesn't feel good. He's been grunting and crying most of the weekend.

We went home with more inhaler medicine. I started feeling really weird and told Steven that I needed to lay down. Patrick laid down too. We both crashed from our breathing treatment that I inhaled and slept for about 2 hours that day. I woke up feeling so weird!

We got through the night. He was so uncomfortable and we debated the E.R. all weekend. Patrick is on medi-cal, so his options are limited for hospitals. The last E.R. visit took over 6 hours at the county hospital. But, his breathing was really labored and he didn't look any better.

My friend told me that all hospitals have to take medi-cal, so we went to Kaiser late on Saturday. We are Kaiser patients, but Patrick receives free medical treatment through the state. We got to the E.R. and we were just sat down and got called to the back. Maggie wasn't allowed to come with us so I called her BFF's mom and took her over there. Maggie was worried about Patrick, but "COULD NOT BELIEVE THAT SHE COULD GO SEE KATELYN!! AT. NIGHT!!!!"

When I got back, they were setting up xrays and taking pulse rates. He was a sick little guy. They were concerned about RSV, which is terrifying, but luckily, it came back negative. We were only there 2 hours, which is a miracle in E.R. time. He went home with more medicine and inhalers. They think he has a virus and a second doctor thinks that he has asthma.

While the nurse who was helping us all night was filling out the last papers, she was telling us this bizarre story about a 10 month old baby that she was helping one night. The 10 month old could read! Steven asked her where this was and she said "Birmingham, AL". We said that we were from LaGrange, GA. She was shocked. She's a traveling nurse and lives in Hogansville, Ga. That's like 10 minutes from LaGrange. How bizarre.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Win a new washer and dryer and help out others at the same time!

This is a great campaign from Frigidaire. They are showing that even though the holidays have come and gone, we're all committed to finding ways to keep the spirit of charitable giving going in the new year.

That's why Frigidaire and Jennifer Garner are teaming up once again to support Save the Children's U.S. Programs, dedicated to helping children living in poverty in the United States.

Their new Spin & Win game gives you the opportunity to win gift cards for spending quality time with your tykes - whether it's curling up with some new books, starting a craft project or taking in a family flick. They're giving away a prize every day. Plus, you could also win a brand new Frigidaire Affinity washer and dryer, with time-saving features that give you more time for the important things in life.

Best of all, every time you play, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children, as part of their $250,000 commitment to support Save the Children's CHANGE program, dedicated to providing nutritious snacks and promoting healthier lifestyles for children living in poverty in the United States.

So, be sure to go to the website and play. You could win a gift card and also help out others at the same time. Here's the link: http://www.maketimeforchange.com/

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Drop off at school time

I am shocked to say that I enjoy dropping off Maggie at school. Not because I am so ready for her to go to school. I like having her at home, so I miss her while she's at school, but she loves school so much that it makes drop off time really easy. I didn't expect her to like school so much. She is a clingy girl who is a homebody, so I expected a fight every morning. This is the girl who cried every morning that I dropped her off at preschool. Every morning for an entire year when she was 3. That made me feel awesome.

But, I love her school. She has a wonderful principal who sets the tone for the school. She has a wonderful teacher who genuinely likes 5 year olds. She sets them up to succeed and she never raises her voice at them. It's an amazing thing to watch her lead them.

Drop off time comes after the mad rush of finding matching socks that don't itch or bump. Drop off time comes after putting on her shoes in a way that don't bunch up the socks that we just put on. It comes after we find jackets and snacks for snack time and her weekly homework and getting Patrick ready to go. p.s. Patrick is infinitely easier to get ready in the morning than his big sister.

Then, it's the mad dash to the door. Maggie has elaborate good bye rituals for each of this that take several minutes. It involves lots of hugs and kisses.

As we get to school, I try to remember to pray with her and tell her to remember that she is God's child and to pray for her friends in her class.

We get to school and say hi to the sweet crossing guard. This crossing guard is protective of the kids crossing the street and reminds each of them to have a great day.

After we get to the gate to let her in the playground, we kiss one more time and have a tight hug goodbye. She skips off to class and to see her friends. I watch her get in the 2nd gate to the Kindergarten playground and sometimes stand there til her teacher comes to get the whole class. I watch other parents say goodbye. I'm surprised by how many dads are there and how sweet they are to their kids as they leave them at school.

I was watching one dad hug and kiss his little girl goodbye. He was wearing a mechanics' uniform and was tatooed and pierced. He was so sweet to her. And I just teared up watching them say goodbye. It was just such a sweet outpouring of love between this tough guy and his little girl.

I think that we are extremely blessed by Maggie's school. I prayed and prayed for her teacher and for Maggie's first experience at school. It's been a great experience. It's been great to be connected to our community. I have learned so much about our town and the area just by her school. I'm happy to drop her off every day at school even though I really miss her while she is gone.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Gray hair

Tonight, I was staring at my husband adoringly and noticed that he has a few gray hairs at his temples. I love it. I think it's cute.

Then, I had a bad thought. If he has gray hairs, I could have gray hairs soon. WHAT? Is that possible?

What will I do about this when it happens? Will I let it go gray? Will I cover my gray? How do you make a decision like that? When do you stop covering it up and let yourself go gray?

I don't know how people in California do it, but I know that in the south, women don't go gray naturally. Men look all cute with gray on their temples, but it doesn't do so much for most women.

I just don't know. I don't think that I am a particularly vain person. I tend to go for comfort and not for vanity, but I just can't imagine going gray.

Why did this hit me so hard tonight?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Baby formula

Becoming a mommy comes with loads and loads of guilt. I had a hard time nursing Maggie and was only able to nurse her for about a month before I had to stop. Guilt inducing to say the least. I wanted to give her the best in life and nursing is the best for babies.

We had some free samples from the hospital of different kinds of formula. It ran out and we had to get more. Oh my gosh! That stuff was so expensive. I had gone to part time work and money was tight. We talked to Maggie's pediatrician, the BEST pediatrican ever, Dr. Lisa, and she told us that it was okay to use Parent's choice. It's the Wal*Mart brand of formula. It was literally half off from what name brand formulas cost. She said that it was the exact same thing as Enfamil or Similac. Maggie was growing fine and her doctor was pleased with her progress.

So, I felt okay with our decision. Tried to put the guilt of not nursing behind me, but I still had people question our decision to formula feed her and to use Wal*Mart brand formula,too. That's just what a new mom needs isn't it? More guilt from people!

Today, I feel even more proud of my decision to use Parent's choice formula. Look what was decided in the court system. http://industry.bnet.com/advertising/10004868/a-desperate-mead-johnson-loses-135m-jury-verdict-over-false-claims/

The company was losing money and started using ad campaigns like this:

There are plenty of other ways to cut back on baby expenses than on your child's nutrition.


It may be tempting to use a store brand formula, but only Enfamily promotes brain and eye development.

So, there was no need for the added guilt. There is no difference in store brand versus a name brand formula. We get Patrick's formula through WIC because he is a foster child. They only use name brand formula. I wonder why that is. Couldn't we save money by using store brand formulas? Maybe even serve more children by using store brand option. I wonder if it will change because of this case.

The moral of the story. No need for mommy guilt. We are doing our best. I think that it was important for me to be able to stay at home with Maggie on a part time basis and if that meant giving her store brand formula, that was the best decision for our family. I think she turned out fine.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Professor Cubby Worm is released

Tonight was officially the night. He needed to go into the wild. We took lots of pictures of him. He was not an easy subject to take pictures of. It's hard to focus on a moth in a picture and then in a mason jar? Just not easy!

Maggie said her tearful goodbyes and kissed his jar goodbye. She was really scared of him since he's not very cute anymore. She also changed his name to "professor cubby beauty" since he's not a worm anymore.

We put him outside on a shelf so he could leave when he was ready. Maggie promptly stood at the glass screen door and hollered and bawled. She said "it's just not easy to be a foster mom".

I told her that I was proud of her for taking such good care of the professor. He could have died as a caterpillar and never made it this far. She made it possible for him to become a moth (that she is scared of).

It was still hard for her to let go of him.She stood at the back door and watched for him to fly away while blowing him kisses.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Professor Cubby Worm

About a month ago, Maggie saw the "CUTEST" caterpillar ever outside of our house.

She and Steven picked it up and put it in a mason jar with a leaf and some sticks in it and some holes on top of the jar lid.

After a week, Professor Cubby worm stopped moving. It was very sad. She asked us to keep him until Memaw and Nah Nah came to our house for Christmas.

When they got here, she tearfully showed them Professor Cubby worm. She cried because "he never got to celebrate his first Christmas".

I was ready to throw him away and get the dead caterpillar jar off of my kitchen counter, but mom stopped me. She asked me to look at him again.

He wasn't dead! It was a Christmas miracle. He had turned himself into a pupa.

Mom even poked at him with a blunt pair of scissors and he moved around.

I read on the internet that it took about a week to 2 weeks for a moth to hatch from the pupa. So, I expected him to hatch around Christmas day.

However, after Christmas, he wasn't emerging. He stopped moving.

Crap. Now, what was I going to do with Professor Cubby worm? I mean, the guy went to college and got himself all educated!

Maggie was staring at him this afternoon and started screaming.

Yep. Professor cubby worm emerged. He is sitting on the leaf. Tomorrow, he will be released into the wild. What a wild trip!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A new year, a new decade, a new beth?

I feel the need to write something momentous and awe inspiring and a brand new start to an old blog. This is a new year and a fresh start. It's even a new decade. I feel like something awesome should start!

However, the "old dishes" are still needing to be washed and my kids still need to be bathed. Our cute pastor talked about a visualizing what our 90 year old church could look like. He's reading a great book about our dreams and what God can do through us and beyond our wildest dreams.

I have always been way too practical. I like structure. I like playing within the rules. I'm all about working within the system. I have a hard time dreaming and imagining what God can do through me.

My daughter is the opposite. She has wild dreams and wonderful ideas and is ready to turn our home into a puppy shelter/lemonade stand to raise money for people who don't have any money. She doesn't understand why I don't want to go gung ho with every idea that she has.

Honestly, she makes me feel like a stick in the mud.

How can I encourage this wild dreamer? She is going to be a visionary for God. She will do amazing things for Him. But what if I squelch her dreams and ideas? Sometimes I am just tired!

Maybe I have that wild imagination inside of me somewhere too. Maybe it's just buried beneath my desire to have a clean house for more than 2.5 seconds. But, I don't think that God really cares what my house looks like. He is more concerned with my heart and how I am serving others.

I pray that this year I can let go of some of my structure. Or even just follow a dream of another God follower and not allow me to talk myself out of something before it starts.