31 October 2010

Back from Mini-vacation

We just came back from our mini vacation. It was great. The travel there was pretty good, for it being in the evening. My kids go to bed around 7:30 pm, so flying with a 6 pm flight is not ideal. But they both did great. The weather was great, not too hot and not too cold. The family we visited was welcoming as always and we had lots of fun. We went to the Aquarium, to the Children's Museum, and to the beach, to numerous parks and to a fancy restaurant a la my taste - meaning it offered a Vegan menu! Awesome.
So tomorrow I will write more, but for today, this is it!
And by the way, I have two kids sleeping by 7 pm!!! It is so nice and quiet here....

27 October 2010

God's miracles

I had written about a friend of mine that is pregnant in this post Being Blessed: This is good news a while ago. We were waiting for this baby for a long time. And it has finally arrived last night. Here is how awesome God is and that he still creates miracles.

She had been in labor since Monday. I saw her off to the hospital that night when her contractions were pretty close together but not very long. Like me, she had a C-section before and was trying for a vaginal birth this time. So I have been praying for her for this to happen. I didn't sleep good that night waiting for a phone call that never came. So I called her in the morning but apparently the baby was not there yet, she was only four centimeters dilated and doing great but was tired. All day I was waiting for more calls and every time the phone did ring I thought this is it, the baby has come. But no. Around three o'clock in the afternoon she called me all excited that she was nine centimeters now and pushing would follow soon. Good. So I asked her if she wanted me to come. She said maybe after the kids were asleep, I could stop by. At eight o'clock when my kids were in bed, I called, still no baby and almost ten centimeters. So I went to the hospital and was let into her room. She was now ten centimeters and they were prepping her for pushing. It is quite exciting.

Once pushing started, I was able to help her, coach her and comfort her along with her husband and her sister. She was pushing for two hours and the baby was not moving much. So the doctor came and gave them two options, one was to use the vacuum and the other to go for a C-section. And here is where God stepped in all the way! When they made the decision to go for the operation, her mom finally arrived. Of course, she wanted an update on the happenings and with her questioning, her and the doctor could convince them to at least try the vacuum. Hallelujah. I mean she came this far to try for a vaginal birth. This is what she wanted. And I am so glad that she had a doctor (in America) that actually opted for the vaginal birth versus the C-section. To me, it seems most doctors would prefer the operation - which is so weird to me! So I am happy to see that this one was all for natural birth.

Now once that decision was made, things got really moving in that room. It started to get really crowded, too. Not only was it the mom and the dad, their first child, the sister, the mother and me, then the nurse, the doctor, and at least three other nurses on top of that. Yeah, the room was FULL. So I started to pray, I mean praying business! That this baby would come out the natural way, with the doctor's help. And wouldn't you know it: it took only three contractions and baby was born!!! Yeah. It is the most beautiful thing that I could think off! So precious. God is so good. Ten little fingers, ten little toes, a beautiful face for a beautiful girl. Oh, did I mention that we didn't know the sex of the baby? Yeah, it was a surprise.

For me, it was marvelous to be able to see that, as I was not able to see any of my children to be born. Our God is still performing miracles each and every day. And this was one of it. I was crying, so happy that all went fine, she got what she wanted, mommy and baby were safe, in the hands of a wonderful doctor. And God's timing was all over this as well. God is good!

26 October 2010

The outdoors

I want to show off Coqui's bike. It came from Germany and he got it for last year's Christmas, from my parents. When I first saw it, I knew I wanted one for Coqui. At that time, it was right before we had to go back home, meaning flying back to America, so we didn't have enough time to order it at Amazon.de and have it shipped to my parent's house before we left. So they brought it over for Christmas. And wouldn't you know it, he LOVES the bike.
Oh, by the way, we call it a 'Laufrad' (walk bike)because it has no pedals. It is great for kids that just can't figure out how to use them, yet. Coqui is one of them. He didn't at the age of three, he can't at the age of four. I am not forcing the issue as I don't find it too important - he is able to do so many other things! So we use this bike pretty much every (!) day. Going to the mailbox, or going over to the neighbor's house. It is always with us. Using it now for about nine months, he got so good at it, too. And fast.
So yesterday, we went on a very long walk; long for him at least. I mapped it out afterwards and it was 2.6 miles all together. That is pretty long. Here is a goofy picture of him, hiding from the sun. We were pretty sweaty after that. But I am so proud of him that he was able to go that far and make it back home all the way.
Peanut? Oh yeah, she was in the stroller of course. I am not sure if she is ready for the Laufrad yet.... (*grin*)

25 October 2010

Halloween or why NOT

It is very interesting to see what a three-year old sees and how much more a four-year old is observing. Last Halloween came and passed, and Coqui didn't notice much. This year, it can not be ignored. Wow.
As a Christian family, we have decided not to celebrate Halloween at all. My husband comes from an entire church that does not join the fun, so it was just a decision to be made for our own little family (as we are no longer with that church). As a non-American, I have no problems cutting it out - I never celebrated it in the first place. But then again, I am more of a black-and-white person, so my decisions seem to be more radical anyway! To agree not to it was not a hard one. We don't feel like we have to join the fun just because they (!) make you feel like you have to. My kids will NOT miss out on anything. I know that.

So when the first decorations started to show up this year and Coqui actually knew what they were, we had a little talk. I told him that we are not celebrating Halloween, because we only believe in one ghost and that is the Holy Ghost! There is no other, so there wouldn't be a reason to join the fuss about it. At the old church, they have a Fall Festival for the kids, so the families that don't have their kids go trick or treating actually have a safe place for them to be! I love it and it is so much fun for the kids. My mother-in-law usually does it, and she is good.

So today we went to Walmart to get a few things we needed without doing the big grocery shopping just yet. The lady at the cash register asked my little man if he is excited about Halloween. And I am so proud of him, because without any hesitation he declared that we don't celebrate Halloween. Yeah! I am very happy. But to my surprise, the lady that that she agrees and doesn't believe in those 'funny creatures' either. Nice.

Added note from today: so after yesterday's episode in Walmart, today we go through the list of his friends. Most of his friends are from our local church in town, some still celebrate it, some don't. But the good thing is that he doesn't seem to mind that some kids get to go around and collect lots of sugar where he will miss out on that. Or maybe it is because he gets enough sugar every day anyway.....

18 October 2010

Back home and back to homeschooling

We were gone from home for about three weeks, and while I was very consistent with keeping up with the school work for the first half of this time, I was NOT at the end. That is partly because we were first at Mema's house and it is easy to do it over there - the third week was spent in Puerto Rico and who wants to do school in paradise???

So this morning, I told Coqui that there is no reason to slack off this week, just because we might be tired. Back to routine! That means school work first, before much play or any (!) TV time. It went over so well, he is sooooo wanting to learn and ready for it. We did a little more than I would usually have him do - that is about 4 pages or a mmaximum of half an hour. Today, we did at least 45 minutes of work. That is coloring, some letters and some German. I had to take this picture of his coloring! I am so proud of how well he stays in the lines. It's awesome to see.

Also, I want to share how often I have been cheered on by others to home school, lately. The major encouragement actually came straight from God during an intense prayer that someone had done for me! How awesome. And then I have met two people that are homeschooling themselves, and of course, they are all for it, and try to reassure me. Thank you!

06 October 2010

Future Plans

Today, I was thinking that sometimes I forget that I am a cancer survivor. I mean only for a second or so. I know that others experienced this before, too. So I am not alone. Like when I think about the future, my dreams and my expectations. There are so many things that I still want to do. So many places that I want to see. I am a stay-at-home mother and I am loving it. But I also know that one day, I want to go back to work. What that might be, I don't know yet - there are so many choices!
And that is one thing to LOVE about America: nobody laughs at you when you decide to change carriers with 40!!! They encourage you and cheer you on! I love it. I love photography, but I am not sure if I want to have my own business. I love teaching, so I could easily imagine to teach somewhere (besides my own children). I can also imagine to work in a family business. Then I came up with this: after going through the cancer experience, one has the feeling to want to help others that are going through that same (or a similar) experience. I can NOT see blood, I will faint. So I can't be a nurse. But I could do a one-year training to be an ultrasound technician! Yeah. So I just have to figure things out for myself.
Helping others is top on my list. So being a volunteer is one thing that I actually enjoy. I want through a training and feel quite confident to be able to help someone. Currently, I am just doing one-on-one matches, mostly over the phone. It comes being a mom of small children that I can't just leave and go off. But in the near future, I want to go to hospitals and oncology centers. In my support group, I can drive people to and fro, when they are not feeling well enough to drive themselves. It is the small things that count. Maybe I can help someone else to dream again and see the light at the tunnel......
But when I thought about all those plans today, I was thinking that I am glad that I am making plans! Because three years ago, round about this time exactly, I was not thinking of making any plans...... so I wanted to share with you HOW blessed I felt today. For being able to still dream, expect and hope!

04 October 2010

Being Superficial.

I have been sitting here for over an hour and didn't know what to write about. So I checked other blogs and I checked Facebook - yes, I know, I am a little obsessed! So here it comes, my very smart post of the day - because I am trying to write a little more often than in the past! Hoping that one day I will get more readers!

"Never apologize for what you feel. It's like saying sorry for being real."

How do you like that? Well, it brings memories back from when I first came to this country and was still in my 'complaining' mood and 'everything-is-bad-in-America'!!! Isn't that called being superficial? Well, back in the day, we, my foreign friends and me, were of the opinion that ALL American are superficial. Of course now, ten years later, I don't think that anymore. For one, we as human beings are all different. Then I believe that in every nation, there are all kinds of people, so every nation has superficial people. Being German, I grew up being very tight = meaning we Germans can be a little introverted. We like to stay to ourselves and separate private and public life very much. I heard that from a friend about six years ago - I had alot of time to think about it, and now, I actually have to admit that it is true. I know that I have changed alot over the past ten years, and especially since my cancer experience. Once I opened up about my feelings and my hurts that resulted from that illness, I felt so much better. Now, I share my thoughts, I share my dreams, and I share my fears.

I still believe it is also true: to have one very good friend is better than a million shallow ones! But if we don't open up to others, how can we find out what is really behind the curtain???

Also, I am a very honest person. To me, laying is the greatest sin! (just a personal opinion!) So I usually tell what I think and feel. I have been told that this scares people away! And I have friends that actually like this virtue about me. I am sorry for those that are scared, but I think that might be (???) due to their own insecurity? I am not sure. But I will not change for anybody because first of all, I have to live with myself. Then with my family, then with my friends! And then with all the strangers that might become my friends one day.....

What do you think?

01 October 2010

Raising Godly Tomatoes

Edit 1: I started writing this post a LONG time ago, so it is written in sections. Please forgive.

I don't remember where I found it first, so I am sorry if I can't give that person the credit they deserve. I put the link in my bookmarks, hoping to get back to it later, but of course, that never happened. Then later, when checking out more and new blogs, I stumbled upon this link again. Still, I didn't bookmark it right away before clicking somewhere else. I am sure you know how it is, one thing leads to another and you spend an hour in the blogging scene. Finally, I read another blog that had just dedicated her parenting to this concept called 'Raising Godly Tomatoes'. I was intrigued at once..... and started reading, again. And this time, the entire blog. I bookmarked it - so here it is: http://www.raisinggodlytomatoes.com/

And I totally loved it!!! It sounded so right. Some of the stuff, I am doing already. Like never letting bad behavior go by, but addressing it right away, and 'punishing' it right away. In moderation! So I have to work on some of that. But I like the idea of simply using obeying as a parenting style. After all, that is the one thing God asks us to do. And that is also the one thing that most adults have a problem with.

Edit 2: I wrote this a while ago, never got back to finishing the blog post.... now here I am, probably six months later, and re-read some of the things this lady mentioned on her blog - which by the way, is a book as well. I am not a hundred percent sure on it anymore! My friend keeps saying: every mom (or dad), and family, has her own parenting style. We all have to figure things out, sometimes on the fly, as it occurs. I don't agree with the physical punishment by this lady. Don't get me wrong, I am not against a "slap" here and there, but not constantly. I am more for the "pouring love over your children"! Giving them choices, where making good ones will be praised and making bad ones will be followed by consequences. AND simply being a good example. After all, the kids are mostly just copying us and our behavior as parents. My friend, again, used me as an example just recently: I must have told her that I read in front of my children. Yes, I am ignoring them!? No, no!!! But I believe they need to play on their own, in order to deal with boredom, and in order to communicate with each other without an adult intervening all the time. So I read. A couple of lines only sometime; sometimes I get to read a whole page. But I want to show them HOW much I love reading and maybe they will copy me one day and pick up on the reading habit. I find it so important, and unfortunately, in this society, it seems to fade away.....

So check it out for yourself, think about it, and apply whatever YOU feel comfortable with!

Also I would love to hear what you think about this approach.