It’s been a while since I have done a review, hasn’t it? I recently had the opportunity to join Zonderkidz new Z Blog Squad review team, and I am so glad that I decided to!
My first book to review was My Bedtime Story Bible. For those of you with younger kids, this is a great way to review/introduce some of the more well-known stories of the Bible in the context of a child appropriate bedtime story.
- Introduction features some ideas for using My Bedtime Bible Stories and personalizing the stories to make both the stories and this time spent with your child a little more meaningful.
- 2-3 pages per story, so they aren’t too long before bed
- 2-3 pages includes cute illustrations
- Stories are appropriate for young children.
- Stories focus on more peaceful, quieter moments of the scripture stories.
- ”Tuck in” feature- at the end of each story, there is a special thought for you to discuss with your little ones or for them to think about as they fall asleep.
The illustrations are cute and well done, catching my energetic toddler’s attention for a few moments, which is quite the accomplishment. Both Evie and I have enjoyed the pictures. A lot of them feature stories in the Bible that include babies, so naturally, she loved pointing out all the little children and exclaiming, “Baby!” (Same for pictures that included various animals that she loves, like kitties, sheep, etc.)
I also love the “Tuck in” feature questions at the end of each short story. While Evelyn doesn’t quite get the questions as well now, I can see how they could be great before-bed talking points as she gets a little older. They are thoughtful and focus on child appropriate themes from these stories.
I also personally liked the introduction suggestions. Many days are long, and it’s easy to rush through to the finish line to get that much needed adult time. However, this a great reminder for me to not be distracted in those last moments before Evie goes down; it’s the last chance in the day to focus on my relationship with her and remind her how much she is loved.
And when everything is said and done, what is more important than that?
Today I was wearing one of my favorite pregnancy outfits, a nice skirt (much worn from being a hand-me-down before I used it all through Evie’s pregnancy, and now BBv2.0′s, and green shirt I found secondhand as well. It made me wonder how, size-wise, the two pregnancies look different, especially because this little boy is making me feel SO HUGE. I don’t remember feeling this big with Evie as early on.
To help the comparision, I took a picture from 6 days before Evelyn was born, and where I am today (roughly 2.5 months left!).
^^June 22, 2012^^ and ^^April 20, 2014^^
Yup. While I am definitely a little bigger being 6 days away from Evie’s birth date, I still think I am reaching that size and fast which this little boy! He feels so much bigger to me, too. Guess we’ll know if I’m right when he actually makes his debut!
I’m not big on pregnancy pictures, but I thought it would be fun to do a side by side comparison.
Oh, and Happy Easter! I should probably do a post soon on how Easter #2 went down for sweet Evie girl. She’s had a lot of people love on her today but she’s pretty sick, so once we’re all feeling a little bit better (cuz when baby’s not happy, ain’t nobody happy here!) I will post some of the pictures we took today.
I know I mentioned in my last post that things haven’t been going as well as I would like for me, particularly emotionally, the past month or so. In an effort to keep with my resolution to stay positive about things going on in my life, here are two fun adventures we’ve had as a family recently.
Recently, a new aquarium moved into town not far from where we live. Since this area is booming, and city limits can take take 45 minutes to get from one edge of town to the other in GOOD traffic conditions, we found this to be a bonus. So despite the somewhat inflated price, we checked it out. Some friends had gotten a family pass for half off and hadn’t used it yet, so we invited them with us.
The biggest bummer was that the day dawned very drizzly and wet, and since the aquarium is all indoors, it got crowded pretty quickly. (And that happens on Saturdays, right?) But Evelyn had a blast.
She got to see exotic birds and fish, crocodiles and tortoises, touch small sharks, starfish, and sting rays, and called the eels she saw “dragons” and roared at them.
The staff was super nice, and one guy even came out and told us to stick around for a minute because he was about to feed the eels, and the kids usually enjoyed watching that. It was pretty neat. Definitely worth the family pass if you are going to go multiple times with younger kids that don’t think they are too big for the experience.
Hands down, spring in Texas is both the worst of times and best of times. Worst of times: ALLERGIES GALORE. Even if you have never had serious allergy issues in your life, there seems to be at least one thing here that ends up getting everybody at one point or another. But the wildflowers that pop up EVERYWHERE- any field, along the side of the highways, even on the side of a busy intersection- are gorgeous. It’s hard to focus on driving because I just want to stop and smell the flowers!
We were kind of overwhelmed last year and only caught the tail end of the beautiful wild flower season here for Evelyn, and we were sort of bummed about that. We made a goal to be better this year. So when I happened across a list of some of the best bluebonnet spots last week, I was determined we’d take advantage of the sunny Saturday we had to go get some pictures!
As you can tell, we weren’t disappointed. Evelyn was entranced by the flowers, but not enough to keep still for long. We grossly overestimated her attention span in competition to all that goes on at a busy park on a Saturday. Despite all that, I still think we got some cute pictures and some great memories. (All these photos were taken by the very persistent Jared.)
Hope you enjoy our family memories as much as we have trying to make them!
I haven’t been very active on here lately. I wanted to do better with blogging, but it just hasn’t been in my bandwidth. There’s been a lot going on, and with my energetic toddler, I don’t know how anyone has ever had the time and energy to get anything done with these crazy little cuties around.
But other than that, if I were to be completely honest with you all, I would have to say that I’ve been struggling with a big resurgence of my anxiety/depression issues, and just being able to take care of my family’s immediate needs has become a main priority. A lot of the remedies I would usually turn to aren’t as viable an option right now, especially being pregnant. And I know the pregnancy has it’s own share of contributing to the problem with hormone changes and pain issues. I’ve felt fairly isolated lately, and it’s been a really difficult time for me in those regards. However, I do apologize for not keeping up with this as well as in the past.
Things with BabyB v2.0 have been moving along fairly smoothly. In fact, a few weeks ago we found out that “it” is a HE. I felt pretty strongly all along that this little guy was indeed a guy, so it was pretty much what I expected. We were really fine with whatever the result would be, as there are benefits to having both another girl, or having a boy, so really it is just planning ahead now that is the fun part.
One of my favorite pictures from the ultrasound- he’s waving hi!
Anyways, that’s been fun. I enjoy being able to plan. The pregnancy has gotten a little more painful the past week with some lower back pain issues that we are working on resolving, but it’s hard to not tweak your back when you have an energetic toddler, right? So being able to sit and rest and dream up ideas on Pinterest of how we can decorate BBv2.0′s room has been a saving grace for my attention during this lonely time, and I am glad for the distraction.
I’ve also been working on a small crochet blanket for him the past few days. I am really excited about this project, especially because it’s the colors I’ve wanted for his nursery from early on, even before I knew for sure he was a boy. I was trying to think of ways to make them work if BBv2.0 had been a girl, so I am glad I don’t have to try as hard now!
The colors (in cotton yarn, as he’s going to be a summer baby!)
The project so far, based on this Tiramisu blanket pattern.
I haven’t gotten too far yet, since thanks to the cutie pictured above, it took about 5-6 hours to untangle a yarn mess she created, putting me a day behind. (Bonus, it motivated my husband and me to FINALLY get a yarn swift to go with our winder so we can wind hanks/skeins here at home… yay!) I tried to get a stand alone picture of the project all morning since the light has been good, but SOMEBODY would not leave the blanket alone. She sees it and immediately wants to snuggle it. I may be making a second blanket here soon just for her since she has been so obsessed with this project.
So that’s what has mostly been up in our lives. Incubating baby #2, surviving Toddler #1, and fighting a battle with housework that if you came over, probably would look like we’re losing.
It’s been a rough day in our household. It just hit 2:00 PM, and I have been ready to hand in my “Mom card” since at least 10:00 AM. Evelyn’s had a bad cold for the past week and a half, and mid-Saturday, it blossomed into her first ear infection. (Always, always, she gets over the weekend.)
To make it even better, we had a family here to look at our foster girl, Minka. (That’s a blog post for another time, I am sure.) While we were trying to finalize all the paperwork, Evelyn –who had refused to take a nap– charmed the family with her vengeful screaming for Mama. While that was normal nightmarish Evie behavior at 6 months, screaming for no reason and not napping at all is fairly odd behavior at 1.5 years. It wasn’t until after the family left later that afternoon that Evelyn started to poke at one of her ears.
(Poor baby finally gave up during a boring movie with Dad Saturday afternoon..)
After a rather enjoyable night where baby Tylenol did nothing to abate the frequent awakenings and crying, we found ourselves in a weekend clinic the next morning. Ironically, once we got there, Evelyn was acting her normal and curious little self, and of course we wondered if we were overreacting and if we really wanted to pay the lovely price for having to go get doctor care on a Sunday morning (especially being out and about while most of the state was doing their last minute Super Bowl Party shopping!). After nearly 2 hours, we were reassured that yes, Evelyn definitely did have an ear infection, and we were perfectly justified in bringing her in when we did.
Now, not only are we dealing with the ear infection, but the lovely side effects of the antibiotics. (Yes, I have given her lots of bananas and pro-biotic yogurt, and no, it hasn’t helped with the runny output of the other end. I am not asking for other suggestions at this point in time because I cannot face going out with this bundle of joyful misery to buy one more thing that *might* help.)
To top it off, she refuses to nap today.
I’m writing this as I let her watch Sesame Street. That recommended “Less than an hour a day of television” that you hear about for small children? Yeah… That’s just not gonna cut it on a day like today. She’s sick, I’m tired, and we’re both needing a distraction that PBS can provide.
THANK HEAVENS FOR ELMO.
I never thought I would say that, but here I am, broadcasting that to the world. I’m expecting a Mother of the Year award coming my way any time now.
It’s days like today, and weeks like the last two, that make me wonder about what I am going to do with myself once this stage is gone. My teaching license expires this summer, and I am really debating with myself if I will bother to renew it. Not because I don’t plan on ever working again, but I am unsure if I can ever teach again. I’ve debated that before on this blog, so this isn’t anything new.
I know there are a lot of women who choose to stay home, or manage to secure part-time jobs/work from home jobs, but with the economy the way it is, and rising costs associated with having a family, I don’t think I will have that luxury. And for the record, my sweet husband does not put any pressure on me to work. In fact, the many times I have suggested it, he’s made it clear how much he loves how Evelyn has grown under my care.
Bu if I don’t teach, what WOULD I do, once Evelyn and her future sibling are older? I don’t know what I would be good at. Not that I was ever an amazing, inspiring teacher. I enjoyed working with my students, and I felt there were times I did a great job, but there was a lot that was frustrating to me about the systems in place. Especially that last year. That doesn’t mean that I don’t miss it, or have moments where I see something in a magazine or on TV that I think, “That would be so cool to share/use with my classes… If I were still teaching/”
I’ve toyed with the idea of going back to school to get a Master’s degree. I’ve always wanted to further my education, but with how much it costs, I don’t see the purpose unless I have a specific target in mind. And let’s not forget, one that could at least recoup the price it will cost to get the degree.
I like to do crafts and cooking and other small hobbies, and people suggest the idea of Etsy or other craft sites to sell what I make, but I just don’t see my work being good enough to really make any sort of a profit, even managing to equal out the time spent on making them.
So, what to do?
While not immediately pressing –Evelyn and her impending sibling will hopefully need me around for a while yet– I DO need to make some decisions soon. And none of those decisions seem easy.