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Heather's Parenting Journal

Entry 17 ~ September 28, 2007
~ It has been a long month

Parenting 5!Sorry my journal is late this month. It has been another tough one. Just when things were beginning to look brighter, we are struck with yet another loss. Brian's grandmother passed away the other week. It was not expected, although she was 84. This is Brian's mom's mom. So, we thought of Joyce a lot during the funeral.

The funeral was our first trip as a family of 7. Although not for the happiest of reasons, it was really a rather nice trip. All the kids traveled nicely together. Even Katelynn did a great job and we only needed to stop to feed her 2 times on the way. We used those stops as opportunities to feed the others and take potty breaks.

The day before we left, Brian went on a stress buying spree of sorts. I think his sadness made him feel he must go buy. He bought a storage shed for the backyard, a hitch contraption that holds luggage on the back of the car, and a turtle top. Of course these things were in several different stores in the city, so he was gone most of the day. Meanwhile I was home digging totes of clothes out of the attic looking for dresses for the girls. I opted for spring dresses even though it was a funeral. I just could not see the kids in dark clothing in summer. We now have plenty of storage when we travel. In fact we had too much storage for this trip. We had to stop and put some heavier items in the turtle top to stop it from rattling because we did not have enough weight in it.

IsabellaThen last week Brian's dad was admitted to the ER with difficulty breathing, an irregular heart beat, and high blood pressure. He was quickly transferred to the area's Heart Hospital. It was decided that he suffered congestive heart failure. He under went lots of testing, but has been released as of yesterday. He will have a lifestyle change of a low salt diet and new meds to keep everything under control. I guess once you get congestive heart failure you are very prone to get it again. It was good news that it was not worse, but it just about put Brian and his 2 siblings over the edge. They have been through so much with their mother's death, their grandmother's death, and then their scare with their father. But we just keep plugging along. What else can you do?

School is in for all, at least Alex, Maria, and Sydney. This is Sydney's first year and she just loves it. On the first day of school when she jumped in the car after school was over she told me at the top of her voice, "Mommy, I love my school. Thank you." Maria is really enjoying the routine of school also. She has a few friends from last year's class with her again. She all ready was invited to her first class birthday party also, so she was excited. Alex is doing great in school. He has all ready been in almost a month now, which is hard to believe. Football is going good too. He is the quarterback this year and is beginning to really understand the game. Starting next year there is a weight limit restriction for those who carry the ball, and he is already too heavy for that limit, so he has to enjoy his year as the quarterback this year. He is going to be tall, but he does not have it in the genes to be bulky and on the line for too long, so I assume the weight limit will eventually work out for him in a few years and he can once again move the ball.

SydneyI've been busy organizing and purging this house. It is about complete. We've moved all the kids' rooms around and bought new furniture for Alex and the big girls. The babies (Isabella and Katelynn) are in Alex's old room and both in cribs. It is working out nicely and they all have enough storage. I also found this FANTASTIC new rewards board. We've been doing it a month and I am so amazed at the improvement in my kids. It is called the Reward Board by Jump Start. I did the 15 day trial and was so pleased with it I bought it. My kids have their own chores which they had to begin with, but they are excited to do them. It is not 'money' based, but reward based. They earn 'star points' for doing their chores. Then at the end of the week (payout day) they cash in their rewards for prizes. And they don't have to be monetary prizes. My son just won choosing dinner for a night. You'd think it would not be all that exciting, but he was thrilled. He picked everything he wanted all the way down to the Hi-C punch that I never buy, but I thought I'd do it for this occasion. There is 'time with mom' and other things too that just get them so excited. I could truly go on, but it is better for you to check out for yourself if it is something you are looking for. I am just so happy because I no longer gripe or nag them. It is either a star or not and they are in control of their destiny.

I joined Weight Watchers but am feeling a little down about my results. I truly thought with 70 pounds to lose it would just melt away, but it is not melting. I know I don't lose weight during breast feeding, but I've never actually dieted while doing it before. I guess I really don't lose. I think I am at 2 pounds in 5 weeks. Remember the days when you wanted to lose 5 pounds by the weekend and could do it? Uggh.

Well, that is about all for the month. Have a wonderful month and I'll talk to you next time!

~ Heather

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