Friday, November 7, 2008
As most of you have heard by now, we are expecting a new addition to our family on June 17th, 2009! We had our first appointment and ultrasound last week. We got to see our little lima bean on screen. True to Rusch family fashion, we have given this baby its "in utero" name. A's name was "Ace." T has named this baby "Seabass" which I am not a fan of at all, but is quickly catching on in our home.
Right before we joyfully announced our new addition, I was plagued with pregnancy sickness. I was sick with A until 15 weeks so I expected that I might be sick with this baby, but nonetheless, I was hoping to avoid it.
Last weekend was the worst. After trick-or-treating on Friday I didn't go out of the house again until Monday morning when I left for work. Yesterday was a good day and today has started off well also so I"m hoping I might catch a break with this pregnancy. I'm trying to stay focused on the sweet reward that is to come at the end of it all! To all of you women who never had a day of sickness - you are so blessed in that regard!!!
Despite me not feeling well we have managed to fit in some fun things. We went to the Pumpkin Patch a couple of weeks ago and took our little giraffe trick or treating. I'll try to upload some pictures later!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
We had an almost-incident at the park yesterday. I say "almost" because I didn't actually confront the dad of the 5 year old boy that was bullying my almost 2 year old son. Before you commend me for taking the high road - don't. This has nothing to do with my self control, decision to show this man the love of Christ, or desire to bridle my tongue. This is purely a result of this daddy getting out of my line of fire before I could unleash the wrath of a "mother whose child has been wronged" on him.
Now, am I proud of that fact? NO. I'll come back to the spiritual implications in a minute.
In public settings, such as parks, where there are lots of kids around, my general rule of thumb is to allow one grace "offense" before confronting a parent. Now, I'm not talking about kids not paying attetion and running into my child and knocking him down or stealing a toy, etc. I'm talking about the willful, intentional pushing or other form of bullying my child that can cause physical harm. I do know that kids will be kids and you have to deal with those things. I also know that I wear my heart on my sleeve and, therefore, am prone to over-react in any given situation. When you add my child to the mix, multiply that by 1000 times. I lose all logic and reasoning and only see that my child has been wronged. So, to make sure I am not over-reacting, I allow 1 grace offense. How charitable of me, I know (sarcasm). If the behavior continues, then I will confront the parent.
Yesterday when we were at the park, this 5 year old little boy ran up to A and shoved him. This was not an accident of any sort. The kid ran up and pushed him. A stumbled around, but I was able to grab him before he fell. I am one of those parents that actually watch their kids at the park so I was nearby. The dad of the bully, who was standing right there when the whole thing went down, just said, "Now, Now... we don't push little kids." Luckily A has thicker skin than his mama and ran along unscathed.
I, however, thought to myself, "Strike One," and this kid immediately went under my mama microscope.
Now, call me crazy, but I think the dad should have made the boy apologize to A. That's what my mom would have done when I was little and what I would do if A did that to another child. I don't think I would have been nearly as upset if the dad acted remotely remorseful. I do understand that kids unexpiclably hit, push, pull hair etc. A has done it to other children. Kids will be kids and its not the children that I am upset with. Its the parents and their response in these situations that kill me!
Anyway, this child continued to push A (and other kids) out of his way on the stairs to slide, would run up the slide as these little ones were coming down the slide, etc. So I guess I actually gave him more than 1 grace offense :) I think the dad realized I was about to blow because he grabbed his son and took him to the other end of the park to let him run around.
Now, there is nothing wrong with a mamma being angered by her child done wrong. Its how we deal with that anger. Mommies from the beginning of time have experienced these emotions. In Genesis 21:8-10, Sarah was so angered by Ishmael scoffing at Isaac that she cast him out of the land!!!!
My conflict is "How do I respond to these situations while living out the word in front of my child?" Clearly, my inward fury did not come out yesterday, but it could have and probably would have if that dad did not make his exit when he did. The bible says, "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man" Matthew 15:18.
I'm reading a book, "Shepherding a Child's Heart" by Tedd Tripp. He talks about disciplining your children according to scripture and scripture alone. He also talks about dealing with bullies and how the bible says to bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, to him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer him the other (Luke 6:27-36). Now obviously Jesus does not want me to stand back and watch someone physically harm my child and do nothing about it, but where is balance? I"m struggling to find the balance people!!!!
I want nothing more than to live out the word in every aspect of my life. Afterall, Jesus is the word.
Please tell me how you deal with these situations!
I am like a mamma bear. I ROAR. Jesus.... there is still a lot of work to be done in me... but I guess you knew that already :)
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I like to consider this a healthy version of Chicken Pot Pie. Its not Paula Dean by any means, but then again, I don't think you can use healthy in the same sentence as Paula Dean. This is so simple and fairly healthy and its a good little dish to have tucked in your back pocket for when you don't feel like cooking!
1 lb chicken cut into 1 in. chunks (I use boneless/skinless tenders but you could use breasts)
1 can of cream of chicken soup (I use the reduced sodium)
1 8 0z package of cream cheese (I do use the regular)
1 1/4 cup of whole wheat pasta*
1 1/4 cup of frozen peas and carrots*
3/4 soup can of water, divided
Line an 8x11 baking dish with the pasta, peas and carrots, and chicken
Pour 1/4 of the water over
Mix the cream cheese, soup and remaining water and pour on top and spread evenly
Bake on 375 for 35 minutes
(About 20 minutes into baking, I take the casserole out and stir to mix everything together to bake for the remaining 15 minutes)
*These are approximate measurements - I usually just eyeball it!
Friday, September 19, 2008
- I can no longer watch Law and Order SVU
- I cannot listen to/watch the news regarding child abductions or hate crimes on children
- I drive more cautiously in addition to never talking on my cell phone while A is in the car with me or while I am driving on the interstate (even if I am alone)
- I am more aware of the condition of our environment that my child has to live in and my personal affect on that condition
- I am more aware of the foods and chemicals that I bring into my home
About a year ago, T and I started a "green" movement within our home. First it started with recycling and is slowly expanding into other areas. Little by little we are making changes to reduce the chemicals we are emitting in our air and help preserve our natural resources. We have started turning off the water while we brush our teeth, turning off lights when we leave the room, buying aerosol free products, walking vs driving when reasonable, using compact fluorescent lightbulbs, etc.
T is currently making his own "compost" for the yard. Its brewing now in a big Rubbermaid storage container in the back yard. If you are ever at my home and open up my refrigerator to see a bag full of coffee grounds, banana peels and other food scraps, that's what its for :) I have stopped using the best hairspray ever because it is only available in aerosol form. I feel the pain from that everyday when I am fixing my hair :( If anyone has a recommendation for a strong-hold, non-aerosol hairspray, please let me know!!!!
Anyway, this post is not intended to pat our own backs, but to give you some insight into what is going on with us and pass on some useful things I have found! What I wanted to share with you today is a recipe for a chemical-free, all natural, all-purpose cleaning solution I have been using for a couple of months. I am a clean freak and have been perfectly satisfied. Plus, it doesn't streak or leave a filmy residue. I even mop my floors with this.
This isn't a new invention, but an old tried and true cleaning solution. I just found out about it and wanted to pass along to others who may not have been aware. Its 4 parts water to 1 part vinegar. The vinegar is diluted enough that it doesn't leave a strong vinegary odor.
Its cheaper than most solutions on the market and we don't have to worry about our kids breathing in harmful chemicals that can cause respiratory problems.
If you're worried about the odor or aren't ready to make you own cleaning solution, Clorox has an all-natural product called "Green Works" that I have used and been satisfied with as well.
Please give it a try if you feel led and let's give our kids clean air to breathe and protect the earth our Lord created!!!
Ok... I'll stop now. Beware.. I may be turning into a tree hugger!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
**I'm frustrated with trying to insert my pictures under the related text, so they are all appearing at the top of the post! Maybe one day I"ll have enough patience to figure this out..
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
On Saturday we had lunch with Taz and Christi. It was so good to see them. Christi is still in one piece so school hasn't broken her yet. We miss them so much and tried to guilt trip them into moving back, but it didn't work.
On Sunday we went to my in-laws for swimming and a cookout. A's baby cousin, N, was there so we had our hands full trying to keep him off the baby. It really is cute.. he loves him so much and constantly wants to kiss him, tickle him and give him toys or his milk cup. I'm not so sure the rest of the family finds this cute yet :)
Here are some pics from our weekend. Enjoy!
He had more fun playing in the fireplace than the pool (Don't worry... it hasn't been used yet)
Being silly with giraffe on his head...
Today he came up to me and said, "Poo-Poo". I checked his diaper, and he had in fact, gone #2. This is really the first big sign he's shown that we're moving toward potty training readiness.
I got his little potty out of storage and put it in his bathroom. In the coming days I hope to familiarize him with the concept by letting him sit on the potty and talk about it.
I can't believe my baby is almost ready to be potty trained!!!! Please pray for us as we begin, what I've heard, is a very challenging journey!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
First of all... I'm digressing away from the cute part for a minute... he grew just enough this week that he can now turn our door knobs enough to open every door in this house. This is bringing the baby proofing to a whole new level. One night this week T and I were in the kitchen and we heard a door open and walked into the living room to see A walking out the front door! YIKES! That was scary. You will be glad to know that we have since put baby proofing devices on all of the important door knobs.
Back to the cute stuff.....
Most of you know that I am on the hunt for the perfect shade of beige to paint my living room. I keep all of my paint samples in a basket in our room. This morning A was holding the different paint samples up to the wall and looking at them! I think he's seen mommy do that one too many times recently. This reminded me of the time that he got hold of a pair of tweezers and pretended that he was plucking his chin after spending the morning with my mom. Sorry mom for outting you!
We bought him a playhouse a few weeks ago. He loves it! (Pictures to come soon). The only downfall is that he wants me to get in it all the time. That wouldn't be so bad except that he gets out and moves on to play with other toys and expects me to continue to sit in the house! Its quite a sight to see..... me in the playhouse with my knees tucked under my chin while he is off doing his own thing.
His vocabulary is continuing to expand and he is piecing sentences together more and more. He said "Poo-Poo" today. If you don't have kids this will seem like a totally inappropriate topic to blog about, but those with kids know its part of daily conversation. Things for the childless to look forward to :)
He is becoming quite the tattle tale! He tattles on himself whenever he is about to do something that is not allowed. Whenever I hear "No,No,No" I turn around to see his insubordination. Usually its putting his foot on the dinner table. That is the latest thing that he continues to do to test us. Sometimes he even gives himself a spanking!
I think I"m going to make edible play dough tomorrow after naptime. I'll let you know how it goes!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
First, he bit his friend A at daycare so he got in trouble for that last night when we got home. Then when I was giving him a bath, I noticed that he had been bitten also. There was a little mouth print on his upper back.
While he was splashing around in his bath and having fun, he bent down and hit his eye on the faucet. It was one of those accidents, where as a parent, you immediately feel horrible because you were right there!!!!
Here are some pics below... Ted iced it immediately so it didn't swell too bad overnight.
Thank God we don't have an appointment with the Pediatrician anytime soon!
Today: (The crying has nothing to do with the injury... this is his normal morning demeanor)
Monday, August 25, 2008
T and I were invited to his cousin's house on Lake Martin in Dadeville, AL this weekend. We dropped A off at Grandma and Grandpa's house on Saturday morning and headed out for our little getaway. Typical to our luck, the one weekend we decide to go to the lake, its rains the entire time!!!
Despite the crummy weather we had a great time. T's family graciously opened up their home, boat, and jet skis to us. The lake water was so warm and inviting that we decided to venture out despite the pouring rain. There is something so relaxing about being out on the open water and getting bounced around on the back of a jet ski! Because the water was so rough and choppy we got splashed a lot and stayed warm from the wind and rain.
I got plenty of "guy time" this weekend. I've never been a huge fan of being the only gal hanging out with a group of guys, but if I had to do it, this would be the group of guys I would want to be around. Even though we've been married 3 years, I've never really had the opportunity to get to know T's cousins Brian, Bobby, and Andrew. Maybe its because they live such exciting and elaborate lives...
Brian lives in Denver, Colorado and is an operations manager for Home Depot there. He is a real outdoorsman and has lots of neat stories to share. Bobby just completed his MBA, lives in Decatur and has a posh job for a private investment firm and frequently travels the world for work. Andrew went to undergrad at Notre Dame University, is in the Navy, and is currently attending medical school at Emory. It was really neat getting to know them and they are all 3 such gentlemen! I was asked on more than on occasion if I needed a sweater, if I was comfortable, if I needed something to drink, etc. That part was kinda fun :) The matchmaker in me was dying to break free and start making matches, but I contained myself.
A had fun with the grandparents. Grandpa taught him how to do the touchdown symbol. Grandma bought him 2 new toys; a firetruck and an alphabet toy. As usual he got lots of attention and love. We're so fortunate to have them so close by!
I can't believe its time to start another week. This should be a light week for me at work so I'm looking forward to lots of time with A.
Blog ya later! ( I know... cheezy)
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Life has been busy lately. I have been working wwaaaayyyy more than I would like. We have been understaffed in our department at work so I have been graciously filling in. We just recently hired 2 peeps, so I'm fighting to reutrn to my part-time schedule before they forget that this full-time schedule was only temporary! I miss my baby and our afternoons at the park. We haven't done anything too exciting outside of our normal routine lately, hence the lack of blog posts, but here is a quick update on everyone....
A is still as busy as ever. He may be the sweetest little boy that ever lived. I just love all the hugs and kisses. The best hugs are the ones where he wraps his arm around my neck and then plays with my hair. He has a new addition to his vocabulary, "MINE!" And he certainly knows the proper context in which to use it. He is just such a little boy! It cracks me up how we don't have to teach him to do boy things. He has two skinned knees and he knocked the scab off one yesterday when he and another little boy at daycare were driving their trucks into each other.
T is working all the time! His job is very challenging and demanding right now, but he is enjoying it. He has started running and mountain biking again. I don't know how he does it in the heat!
In addition to working a lot, I have been getting lots of time out with good friends lately - thanks to my wonderful hubby for pulling A duty! I am in two bible studies right now. One meets bi-weekly and the other monthly. That doesn't sound like much, but it always seems like I'm finishing up my lessons at the last minute. God is so good though! I love the things He continues to show me and the blessings he is giving me through time with wonderful women. I also took on another project - I'm painting A bathroom. I hope to finish it next week. Its going to be cute!
We are starting a new playgroup tomorrow which I am very excited about. I love having interaction with other mom's and I love knowing that A is forming some friendships too. All of these mom's are God Fearing women, whom happen to be married to T's Auburn crew, so that makes it even better!
Enjoy the pictures!
Friday, August 8, 2008
Its funny how kids make associations with people. For those of you that haven't met my sister, Brittany is tall, thin and has shoulder length dark brown hair. When we were at church Sunday, he was pointing to everyone, who from behind, had the same profile as my sister and saying "T.T., T.T, T.T."
I had the newest issue of "US Weekly" on the table the other day. On the cover was Halle Berry in a bikini featuring her "post baby body" and Britney Spears in a bikini featuring her "newer more svelte body." A pointed to Halle Berry and said "T.T" I said "Honey that's not T.T." I didn't want to lead the poor child astray, afterall. Then he pointed to Britney Spears and said "MaMa." I said "You're exactly right honey. That's MaMa."
Thursday, August 7, 2008
In the Rusch house, that moment is inevitably, dinnertime. When I was pregnant, several moms warned me that A would have a fussy time each day. That there wouldn't be anything wrong with him, but that he would just be fussy. His time was between 6-8pm. Do you want to know what determined exactly what time in that 2 hour interval that he would be fussy? When T and I sat down to eat dinner.
Our evenings usually go something like this..... pick A up at daycare at 4:00. By the time he hugs and kisses everyone 1,000 times and we leave its 4:30. By the time we get home and get in the house and somewhat settled its 5:00. We play for a few minutes and then I begin fixing him dinner because he is eagerly awaiting it and starving at 5:30. T arrives home between 6:00 and 6:30. He plays with A for a few minutes. Then its bathtime, story time, prayer time and bedtime (for A that is). Then T and I make dinner for ourselves and eat around 8:00. SHEW. I'm exhausted writing this.
On the rare occasion that T gets to leave early and is home by 6:00, I try to have dinner ready so we can eat as a family of 3. A doesn't quite understand the concept of a snack yet, hence why we eat at separate times. We're still working on that one. Anyway, Tuesday was one of those days. T agreed to get A from daycare so I could get a jumpstart on dinner and we could all eat together. Perfect plan.
A is generally a very pleasant child. Sure, he has his meltdowns, but they usually last 30 seconds to 1 minute. Overall, he is easygoing like his dad. The two of them arrived home, both in perfectly cheery moods, with only 10 minutes left until dinner was ready. A was in the kitchen playing peek-a-boo around the corner while I was wrapping things up.
The minute and I mean the minute dinner was ready and we sat down, MELTDOWN. I'm not talking a little 30 second meltodown. The child screamed the entire time we ate dinner. It was like someone flipped a switch in him. After about 2 minutes of the screaming I got him out of his seat and put him in my lap. That didn't help. He screamed and climbed all over me for the remainder of our dinner. Have you ever tried to eat brown rice with a 21 month old on your lap flipping around like a fish out of water? No wonder my kitchen floor is never clean. I do wonder though why I am not thinner :)
I still wouldn't trade it for the world.....
Monday, August 4, 2008
I have found that, for the most part, parents are divided on the subject of discipline. You are either a spanker or you aren't. That's it. For most, its black and white. The "non spanking" realm of discipline can encompass many different methods of punishment. But the most divisive element of discipline, that gets even the most mild mannered parents in an uproar, is spanking.
I will go ahead and put it out there.... T and I are spankers. That is how we were raised and we turned out just fine. We turned out better than fine... we both have a godly love and respect for our parents and we respect authority. Now, I'm not talking about the "go pick a switch off the tree" spanking or the "beating your child with a belt" spanking. I'm talking about the good ole' "warm their hinies" when they don't behave spanking. And for all of you extremists out there, let me please clarify, I am not talking about child abuse nor am I promoting abusing your child. I am talking about disciplining your child, in love, through the form of spanking. I am talking about spanking my child's disobedience and not spanking out of my emotions.
Before we go any further, I want to pose a thought.... why do we even need to discipline our children in the first place? Wouldn't it be much easier to give them everything they want and all live happily ever after? Aside from all of the emotional/social issues that would create for your child, we are commanded by our heavenly father to discipline our children.
Pr 13:24 He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.
Pr 19:18 Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.
Pr 22:15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.
Pr 22:13 Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.
What makes spanking better than time out or vice versa? For us it was never an issue. We were going to spank our kids. Maybe its because we were spanked as children. Maybe its because the children that we know who are not spanked but are punished through "time-out" have no respect for authority and ultimately rule over their parents. Look at the condition of our schools now vs 15 years ago when we still had paddling in the schools. Again, let me stress, in my experience, non-spanking methods of punishment do not appear to be as effective.
There is not right or wrong answer to this... and maybe one's method of discipline needs to differ with each child depending on that child's personality. We have not crossed that bridge yet as we still only have 1 child. If you are part of the "non-spanking" school of thought I am not trying to convert you. I'm confident with the method that we've chosen and I"m sure you're confident about yours. What I'm more upset about is that it is not socially acceptable to spank our children anymore.
To be part of a society that screams "freedom" and "1st Ammendment rights", parents are not given the social freedom to discipline their children as they choose. The public is so quick to cast an evil stare my direction when A is misbehaving, but I can't spank him because someone will call child services on me. Even more than that, any type of punishment or lac of results in a dirty look. You have the group that gives you a dirty look for scolding a 2 year old who appears to be having a seizure because he is throwing such a tantrum. If you do nothing, you have the group that gives you a dirty look for not scolding your child. I have my way of punishing at home and my way of punishing in public and the two are vastly different. Only because I will not give someone the opportunity to scream that I am abusing my child for spanking him. Its a no win situation. Its just frustrating.
I'm not sure what I hoped to accomplish with this post today.... just food for thought.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Other than that, all is well with us. We had a great time in WV and we are both exhausted from the trip. A's late night rendezvous at my mom's house have caught up with him now that we are unable to sleep in until 10am every day. Oh well... what are vacations for?
I know we were only gone for 10 days, but I feel like I came home with a different child than I left with. And I"m not just talking about the fact that he is more spoiled after 10 days with his GiGi and aunts. He is climbing more, talking more, giving more kisses (if that is possible) and throwing fewer temper tantrums!
I feel like we have a slight improvement in the biting arena. Now when he is mad at me, instead of trying to bite me, he'll lean down and bite his shirt, the couch, his beloved giraffe or even himself. At times it is funny and I have to turn away so he doesn't see me laugh, but at least he is moving away from human objects (other than himself)! I am not encouraging self-mutilation, but maybe if he keeps biting himself in these fits of anger, he will realize that it hurts and stop doing it to others.
OK, I have to get back to work. Its so hard to focus after vacation.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
UGH... I can't figure out this biting thing. Everytime I turn around that mouth is wide open and going for flesh! Is he lacking some vital nutrient in his diet that is causing him to crave human flesh, is he a cannibal, or is this just a phase??? We had 3 incidents last week at daycare in which A bit sweet little AJ. He got put in time-out there for his offense and when I picked him up, I pointed to the imprint of his mouth on Alice's arm and again scolded him to remind him that we do not bite!!!
I'm so praying this phase passes soon. If anyone has any endured the biting phase with their own and has any tips/suggestions, I am all ears!
All of you have heard me speak of my 6 year old nephew, J, whom I absolutely adore. He has always been so sweet with A and to our surprise, has not been jealous at all. A bit him 3 times the first two days we were here. Unlike his victims at daycare, J is old enough to realize what was happening and pull away before A was able to break the skin, but still, the intent was the same so he had to be punished.
I'll write more about our trip later!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
All of you are so sweet to ask about A and want to know how he's doing on a regular basis. Now that we are full into the toddler phase, there just isn't enough time in the day to stay in touch with everyone. So hopefully you can check out my blog periodically for the latest and greatest with the Rusch's. Plus, it just seems like a fun thing to do :)
A quick update on where we are today.....
A is 20 months old today! Everyone keeps asking me at what point you stop tracking their age in months. I don't know the answer to that, but my guess is 2 years. Up until that point they go to the pediatrician so often for the "well baby" check-ups and there are so many monthly critical developmental milestones to track that, as a parent, each month feels critical to your child's development. Hopefully that will let up soon!
We have officially nicknamed Aiden "The Destroyer" as he is destroying our house faster than T and I can run behind him and clean it up. I pick-up up tupperware at least 18 times a day as he loves to pull every piece out of my cabinet several times a day. Up until now, I have spared that cabinet from the baby proofing so he could have something to do while I make dinner, but for my sanity, that one may get bolted down also.
A's vocabulary is expanding every day now! He can very clearly say about 12 words including "Hi, Bye-Bye, Mama, Daddy, light, Big Bird, La La (which is for Elmo), Yum Yum (which is for Cookie Monster), T.T. (for my sister B), keys, duck, dog. And several others that without a translation from T or myself, you wouldn't know what he was saying :)
This truly is a fun age, but it is very exhausting. Some nights we literally fall into bed. Still, all the hugs and kisses make every single moment worthwhile!
A and I are off to my mom's house on Thursday for an entire week. We can't wait to get there! They haven't seen A since Easter and man ole' man, are they in for a surprise! I hope GiGi gets the house babyproofed this week :)
I'll be in touch soon!