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Jennifer's Parenting Journal


Entry Two ~ November 28, 2011
~ It's been a FULL month!


It's been a FULL month! (and this is a full post!)

I'm sorry to have taken so long to write this entry, but I was waiting to get some pictures back from Isaac's and Damaris's birthday party. I want to show off my cuties! Plus, if you followed my pregnancy journal, you might remember me mentioning that there was some painting I wanted to do before Caleb was born. Yeah, that didn't happen. But it's done now! (I also wanted to show pictures of that.) I told myself that I wanted it done before we had Thanksgiving here and I did it! So, that my excuse. Is it good enough?

Children

Isaac turned 7 (!!!!) on October 29 and Damaris turned 2 on October 30. That's right, Isaac almost got a little sister for his fifth birthday present. That was also the day that the Mission hosted/ran a community hay ride. Since our whole family was involved with it, we had the party meal for lunch, right before the hay rides began. The children had a blast! Isaac got a toy truck, soda, some candy, and a new bike! Damaris received some footie pajamas, a blanket, and some Krinkle blocks. I've included some pictures of them opening their presents and on the hay ride.

Things are going fairly well here. We are still having issues with attitudes and anger, but there has been some improvements. It seems, though, that Maacah and I butt heads more often than not these days and I shudder to think about what it will be like in a few years, when she really hits the teen years! I didn't really give my parents much trouble at that age. Not because I was perfect, but because my sister was such a handful, I learned from her what not to do! LOL My eldest daughter is enough like my eldest sister that . . . yeah, may the Lord give me patience and mercy!

Up until now, I haven't seen much evidence of Nathaniel's brain damage, but I'm starting to see some problems with his short term memory. (If you are interested to here about his birth and subsequent diagnosis, go here.) I'm not sure how to work with him at his age (3 1/2) and I suppose most would say it is his age. And it certainly could be. It could be that I'm sensitive to things going on with his brain and I'm looking too much into this. The "mile stones" for him have all been later than they were for his siblings, both older and younger. So it certainly just could be "him". But my instinct tells me that this has more to do with the brain damage than anything else. For now, I'll just watch carefully and try to help him as much as I can. My biggest struggle with him is my patience. Boy, I hate to say that, but it's true! Having to tell him something over and over and over again, in the span of maybe 10 minutes, is aggravating. Telling him to pick something up or put something away and having him tell me "I can't see it" when it's right in front of him is tiresome (this latter issue is from him being 3, I think, more than from his brain issues). I am constantly reminding myself that he needs extra time and patience from me, to slow down and help him. That, and tomorrow is a new day and I have another chance to "get it right".

Caleb's umbilical hernia has fixed itself about eight months before the doctors told us it would start to close up. Praise God for that! It wasn't bothering him that we could tell, but it's a relief anyway knowing that it is closed/closing up. He has been more of a spit-up-baby since his belly button shrunk and I wonder if the two have anything to do with one another? I also realized that I never got a picture of his larger-than-normal belly button. How dumb is that?! That's me, always remembers her camera and then forgets to take any pictures! He is a week shy of being 4 months old and I had to change out his clothes again to 6-9 months, the little porker!! I guess he knows how to make good use of my milk!

Our Business

The business is going well. Things are slow, as it is with most everything else, but the Lord has been good and has provided the necessary funds we need. We now have a weekly supper we are delivering for a church that feeds the elderly and the homeless shelter there in town. The town is 40 minutes away from us, but we combine it with shopping (the nearest Walmart is there, along with other stores) so it makes it more worth while. Although, Adam sometimes goes himself and the children and I stay home. This is a meal we were not expecting to get hired for, so we are very thankful!

I absolutely LOVE Adam being home! Even though his kitchen is in another room with the door closed, the atmosphere is so different from what it was before when he worked outside of the home. I think just knowing Daddy is on the other side of that door, who could come in at any minute (which he does) and to whom Mama could call at any time (which I do), keeps the children in a better frame of mind then when it's just Mama home and it's 6 to 1!

Miscellaneous

I mentioned that I did some painting as of late. This is what I did: I painted our living room, our dining room, and our down stairs bathroom. The wall in the living and dining areas were so sad looking. They had marking on them, gouges in them, and otherwise mutilated and after years of them being like this, and getting worse as time went on, I decided that enough was enough and I was painting them. I would have painted them the same color, but the previous owners had painted the walls and I had no way of knowing what color they used. So I went with something that would cordinate with the border wallpaper I have in the dining room (see pictures). The paint is called "hot chocolate". I didn't paint above the chair rail, since the walls didn't really need it. I love the new look of the dark brown moulding along with the new paint. I won't mention how soon I needed to "touch it up" due to some little fingers writing on it (* cough * 2 weeks * cough *). Nope. I won't even mention it.

Now the bathroom has been the room I've wanted to paint since day 1, 7 1/2 years ago. It had ugly gray and Pesto-Bismol pink paneling that I have hated every time I've gone in there. I have been planning on changing it for over a year, so that I was sure on what I wanted. When I mentioned to Adam that I was going to paint it, he decided it would be a good time to fix the leaky faucet that had been leaking for the last five years or so (if not for the whole time we've owned the house). The short of the story is things didn't go quite as planned and I ended up getting the shower in there that I wanted (it was a tub with no shower head). It looks AWESOME! To keep the cabinet that's above the faucet, we bought a shower rod that is used for a claw foot tub. The shower head has an external hose, attached to the faucet.

I decided to have "stars" as my theme and I had so much fun making several star mini wall quilts. I also made a giant starflower shower curtain (which is 100% washable, thank-you-very-much!) and it looks great! The floor is gray tile, so I wanted to work that color in so it all flowed together. The wall color is called "toffee crunch" and the trim is a light gray called "ice breaker". (If you want to see more pictures and read more words, go here.)

I suppose after all this, you might be thinking "Jennifer, this is a parenting journal. Not a 'this is our life' journal". Well, this is our life: parenting. It's in everything we do. In fact, as I sit here writing this, I'm nursing Caleb. As Adam and I cook, our children are there. As I sew, my children are there. As I paint, my children are there. In fact, the two older girls helped me paint the living/dining room and Isaac helped me paint the bathroom. Really, in all that I do, my children are there.

It's our life. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Oh, and it's my birthday today. I'm 32 (yes, some women do have birthdays post 29!). I have very little wrinkles and no gray/white hair. Rock on!!

'Till next time,
~ Jennifer

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