Saturday, October 16, 2010

Well hello again

Hey there! Yeah, I know, it has been awhile...again - what can I say? I have good intentions but everything I want to blog about is always happening so I don't have time to blog about it :-) Now that I am on modified bed rest, I have a little more time for things like this so I am going to try to take advantage of it. Unfortunately, my camera is broken so until Mike gets his film developed (I know!!!) I won't have any pics to update with.
What has been happening since my last post? Well, a lot obviously since that was (ahem) 2 months ago...wow. Okay, well first and foremost, the kids have started back to school! (Don't say duh, it's rude *snicker*) Ally is in prekindergarten with the same teacher that David had and is doing quite wonderfully! She is writing her name and can write a few other words as well. This year I have seen a big change...well, maybe not cahnge..let's say enhancement for lack of a better word, in Ally's behavior. She has been strong willed since day 1 and that has just grown to teenage proportions this year - she is so darn cute about it too. Of course, being the good parents that we are, instead of acting like it is cute when she does it, she gets time out immediately..then later after she is asleep we will laugh about it. Seriously y'all - it is hard not to outright laugh until I think about how she will be as a teenager if we don't stop it now....then it isn't too funny (see for example: my teenage years). Ally does have the greatest sense of humor and is so full of love and cuddles that it totally counteracts her disobedient moments though. David is now in first grade! *sniffle* My baby is now reading so well it amazes me. He will tell me things that I forgot that I knew (or even things I never knew) and just shock me with his ability to retain information! The big change this year for him is that he started on meds for his ADD - all I can say is praise God that these exist! Even my dad who is anti-medication agrees that they have only had a positive effect on David. We still have listening issues (AKA - being disobedient) but I am pretty sure that is going to be a life long struggle for any parent. As long as the good outweighs the bad, I am okay with it...not that I won't keep trying to get him to listen the first time! (Seriously though, I certainly am not always the best example of immediate obedience so it is hard to get too upset).
The kids are both playing soccer this year! I am so thrilled because I love soccer - I loved playing and now I love watching them play. David and Ally both have great teams this year and are really enjoying it. I was able to make it to a few games but it is just too much at this point so I will have to rely on play by play reports from the kids, Mike, and my parents for the time being. Mike is coaching David's team and is really enjoying it! David's team is currently undefeated and at Ally's level they don't keep score (that is a good thing too because her team is, well, more enthusiastic than skilled at this point).
Mike got hired on full time at MIC effective October 1st - this was what we had been hoping and praying for and now I can totally relax about moving to PT work after the baby comes.
Speaking of the baby...well, we are having a boy! His name is Wyatt Christopher and he is currently in training to be an ultimate fighter. He is going to be a big one - at this point he is measuring about 3 lbs. 6 oz. versus the average of 1-1/2-2.2 lbs. I had to take the glucose test this past Friday to make sure I don't have gestational diabetes but I am not too worried - my family makes big boys, after all! I am now 6 months along and on modified bed rest for pregnancy-induced hypertension. This is old hat to me since I was in the exact same position with David at 6 months. The big difference this time is that I am able to work 100% from home (from my couch office that Mike set up) and we have so many friends that are supporting us in this time. Last time around, I was in a marriage to a guy who couldn't be bothered to help with stuff and had only my mom to rely on since I had no friends due to marital circumstances. This time, I have a husband who is willing to do everything and more for me and around the house, still have my terrific momma, and SO many friends who are helping with meals and the kids. You guys will never know how much a difference this makes in my heart *tear*. The kids have been surprisingly understanding about mommy's inability to do the things they want and are used too - hopefully that will last the duration. They are really excited about their new baby brother so that should help too.
The nursery is just about ready! Just waiting on a couple of more items for it to be complete..and they are on their way via UPS! Dede bought us a changing table and that is on it's way and Mike gave me the go ahead to buy the glider/ottoman combo that I have had my eye on and that is on its way too. My mom spent a million dollars at Target so we are set with clothes, at least to start ;-)
Okay, well my BP is heading up so I am going to lay down for a bit - I hope to be back soon!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ally-isms

Allison cracks me up. She says things incorrectly but heaven help the one trying to correct her. Here are some of the things that she is currently saying and won't take my word for it that they are incorrect...

Ally-ism Translation
"It sure is froggy out" - "It sure is foggy out"
"The road is grumpy" - "The road is bumpy"
"Today, in the next morning" -"Tomorrow"

She has been doing this since she was 2 and learning her colors. She would argue for hours that "yellow" was in fact "lellow".

I love her self-confidence and get a kick out of the mental images I get when she says it is froggy outside or that the road is grumpy so we will just let her continue on and I will share the tales when she has a daughter just as stubborn :-)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New House pics

Yes, yes, these are greatly delayed, I know...but, here they are - better late than never, right?




Entry way


David's room (natural light is good to play in, but not so good for pics lol)



Ally's room



Nursery (haven't done much yet, obviously)


Kid's Bathroom



Living room



Living room, angle 2


Study (see, that's me updating my blog!)



Kitchen


Kitchen, angle 2


Master bedroom


Master bath


Master closet

The man cave, I mean garage


There you go, that's our house! We are loving it!!!

Family vacation



This year, our family was blessed to travel to California with my parents, brother, and sister-in-law. While there, we went to Disney Land, Lego Land, and Universal Studios.

The kids with Gramma Bay and Jaja (my parents)

The kids with Uncle Chris and Aunt Kelly (whom they chose to hang on most of the time that we were together)


David at Lego Land Driving School

Princess Allison


David Lightyear
It was so much fun! The kids went on big roller coasters that even I couldn't go on because of being pregnant. David rode Splash Mountain and said it was "terrifying" and then turned around and he and Ally went on Thunder Railroad! Those kids are WAY braver than I thought they would be!

We stayed up late every night but the kids napped when they could, even if it was at dinner...



I am grateful that we all had the energy to maintain a fun pace and full schedule the entire time we were there, including swimming at the hotel on our "breaks". Everyone got along and no one (read: the pregnant lady) got hormonal at all!
I can hardly wait to go again in a few years!









Saturday, June 26, 2010

My little boy



I still want to call him my baby (and will always think of him that way), but my little boy is now 6! He is full of life and one of the most empathetic people I have ever known. He is smart and creative. He loves video games and drawing and swims like a fish. My favoritve part about him is that he calls me "mom" - Happy birthday my David! May this year be the best so far!

Then - 4 months old

Now


Friday, May 21, 2010

Trip to grandma's....

A trip to grandma's house means time with family, and new experiences....this time we learned how to make mud pies...some took it farther than others....




Then, we learned new games that Aunt Krystal brought...here is one of the big hits...


After all the fun, the kids all had baths and received prizes their Aunt Krystal brought...

I love seeing my kids have just as much fun with my cousin's children as I had with my cousins growing up! We are blessed to have such a wonderful family!
For more pics from the day, check out my cousin's blog posts on the day:

Easter and bluebonnet pics

Ally's loot




David's loot



My guys

My girl







Thursday, May 13, 2010

I'm back!!!

So many things have gone on since my last post and I am really excited about all of them. We have had some great news and made some decisions and changed our minds again and made new ones. I promise pictures within the next week of Easter and other cute moments but am just too tired right now to bother walking across the house to get my camera :-)

First off, I am pregnant, YAY!!! There will be a new Sieja by the end of this year (or thereabouts). I am tired all the time and feeling nauseated most of the time but over everything else, I am joyous to be carrying this new life inside of me!

Secondly, our house is coming along so fast! The outside is done, the walls are sheetrocked, taped and floated, lower cabinets and trim are in, and they are building our back deck! All that is left is the rest of the cabinets, painting, floors, and fixtures (and landscaping, fo course)! I emailed the contractor today to see if I could nail down an exact date but as of a couple of weeks ago he was leaning towards the house being ready in the middle of June! That means that I am starting the great clean out process that occurs when you move. I have already gone through my closet and the kids closets and toys, all that is left is books, filing cabinet, linen closets and bathroom cabinets.

Thirdly, Mike and I had rached the decision a month or so ago that I would start homeschooling David and Ally this coming fall. However, since finding out I am pregnant, I have begun thinking that perhaps this isn't the best time to start that. I hate change, especially when I am so secure in a decision, but life happens sometimes and you have to adjsut - in this case for my own sanity and even more so for my kids. There is no way that I can teach them to the level I desire with a newborn around. The good news is that since we had already worked out with my dad/employer that I would go down to a lot fewer hours and only work at the office one day a week starting this fall, it was a really easy jump to go to only working from home. We are now planning on me continuing to work up until Thanksgiving at the full time load that I am now (still at home 3 days a week), mostly because I love my job and honestly, the extra money will come in handy considering we are having to start over in buying baby things!

Fourth and finally, my baby boy is so smart! Yes, I am braggin, but this is my blog and if you don't want to read about my awesome children, then leave :-) We took David in for testing due to some behavior problems in school and found out that while he has ADHD, he is also extremely smart! He is just about done with Kindergarten but on the IQ test, he rated at a 2nd grade level in just about everything and on the 2 things he didn't (spelling and something else), he was upper first grade! He also has a 131 IQ which is "very superior" - now don't tell him that cause he already knows that he is smart lol. The only struggle with keeping him in school is that he will have to be on some kind of medication :-( I am going to try to get a meeting with his next year's teacher to see if this is something that can be worked around. I want to avoid it if at all possible. If it isn't possible, I understand, but I am going to explore all avenues before just giving him meds.

Oh, and to brag about my Ally too - she can write her name now!!! She can write David's too! It is like it happened overnight but she is getting smarter everyday! Cuter too - she has some kickin' dance moves that come out ANY time she hears music...even on the elevator much to complete strangers entertainment...

This time I mean it, I will be back soon - and with pictures!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter walk

David's class had an Easter bonnet walk this past Thursday. I am not too sure of my creative abilities so I freaked out a little bit when we got the note home saying that we needed to create an Easter bonnet. Plus, I had been sick so I couldn't ask my mom to come over and help :-) So, I get instructions on supplies from David and hit Wal-Mart. When David came home, we created the coolest Easter bonnet ever - see for yourself! I think he looks quite dapper in his fake grass, bluebonnet, and egg covered cowboy hat, don't you?
We didn't want to get any phone calls about David's behavior this time, so Michael volunteered to go on the walk with him (and take pics of course). Here is David's entire class:


My baby girl

So, my baby girl is going to be 4 in 4 days *sniffle* She already knows who she wants to marry (now we all know that will change but how cute is that!) and that she wants to live with her brother after they move out of mommy and daddy's house. My daughter is a bundle of energy and love who just showers both wherever she goes. She is independent and very vocal about her opinions. She is trusting and loves to cuddle. She loves to sing and dance though her talent is "still developing" on the singing. She has lots of friends but still chooses her brother as her best friend (on most days). Here she is, my baby girl...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A weekend in pictures

Friday was Rodeo Round-Up


Then we went to go meet Katy, my 2 year old step daughter...
And get a little bit of playtime with her...

While David and Brendan bonded over video games...

We took the kids to visit my grandparents...
Where there was ice cream...
Deep talks...

And a LOT of time outside!

Then we went to my parents house where we had SO much fun that I forgot to take pictures :-)

We got a friend to take a picture of our new family (minus Katy) today after church:


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Our new home

Today, we have our pre-construction meeting for our new home. The house is 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, with a formal dining room that will serve as our home office! Go here to see our floor plan. It is 1669.1680 - I can't figure out how to link you to the direct page, sorry :-)

We are so excited! It will be the first home Michael has ever bought and it will be the first home that we get together! They are set to start building the first week in March and since we only live about a block away, we will be stalking the progress just about daily :-)
Right now, the kids love to take scooter-walks *in case you are wondering, a scooter walk means that the adults walk and the kids rider their scooters until they get bored with them, then we carry the scooters home* to our "empty spot. Who knew that an empty lot would be so fascinating to them! I can hardly wait to watch them watch the house's progress! And, I may be repeating myself but oh well, David's good friend lives just 2 houses down from where we are building!

I will keep you updated!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Finally!!!

All right - we have finally finished jumping through the necessary hoops for adoption!!!!! The social worker who came over tonight was very nice, and I am actually thinking of seeing if she wants to get together after all this is legalized :-) She was over here for about an hour in a half, had about 3 pages of questions, and talked to the kids a little bit. Luckily, the kids are friendly and were way excited to tell this new person about how awesome their mom and dad are :-) My parents came by with dinner towards the end of the meeting - they had originally planned on waiting until she was done, but my mom called and I told her to please come and distract the children from their new friend so that we could finish up. So, the woman was able to ask both of my parents how the felt about the adoption. My mom gave a short and sweet "We are very happy about it!" My dad, whom I take after, was more wordy :-) He almost made me cry, but in a good way, so it is all good - the summary of it was that yes, he is all for it. The only thing that the woman was unsure of is if there was some kind of waiting period - as in, we have to be married X amount of time before Mike can adopt the kids. I have looked online and cannot find anything about that, but am going to call my lawyer tomorrow. If we have to wait, we wait - God has been working on my patience in so many aspects so I think I should be able to handle it without too many issues. His timing is perfect, after all.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Close, but no cigar!!

So the adoption should have gone through without a hitch, but it didn't. We were called the day after the court date and informed that there were a few more hurdles and hoops to jump through. First, I (Michael) needed to get a criminal background check done. Easy enough we thought...
I went to the Department of Public Safety to get the check done and out of our hair on my way back from work in Houston. They told me that I needed to call Austin and find out who they contract it out to and see them. So after calling Austin and talking to the contractors for the checks, I was scheduled for Monday evening in Bryan Texas. Done!! Took one week to get the results.
Save as Draft

Second, we need to have a sit down interview with Child Protective Services. Easy enough...
SO we go a few days without hearing from anyone there to set up an appointment. When we finally do get in touch with CPS we are informed that the visit will cost $1000!!! This is a minor hitch, but God is good all the time!! Funds were made available (thanks Bay!) and all we need to do now is wait for the visit.The visit is scheduled for February 10th at 5:00pm.

In other news, we will be going to College Station on February 10th before the visit with CPS to talk with contractors building our house to decide on carpets, floors, faucets, etc. That should be a lot of fun since this is my first home purchase. I am excited to go through the whole process. Even more excited about when it is done at the end of June. Mandy has said that I can install the crown molding which means I get to purchase the tools needed to do the job. Power Tools!!!! They are supposed to break ground in the first few days of March and finish by late June. I will be taking progress photos as they go.

Our church has been growing in numbers the last few weeks and will continue to do so over the next few months, but not because of evangelism, nope good old family growth. There are at least five families who have or will be giving birth in the next few months. What a strategic church growing plan that is!! Bring on Song of Solomon!! We have offered our home as a small group location for the next phase in our small groups. It is an opportunity for us to give back a little and to put our gifts to use. I am in need of getting all my training and reading a venue to share, minister, and help wherever I can. Our pastor reminded me of the passage in the gospels where Jesus says that if one holds on to ones life, he loses it, but he who gives of himself, gains his life. Wise words!! I am excited to see what God has in store for us in ministering to our community.

We have a trip to Disneyland this summer, I have started my training for certification in the secondary schools, and work with Esco and Allsize keeps me busy during the week. Life is good and we are blessed. Praying that I can get a handle on all I have to do with the certification and find a job for the fall, my certification area is History grades 8-12. I will begin networking next week. I would be lying if I said I am not a bit scared of the whole process, but I just remind myself that God is with us, and He is in control. I just need to remember to do my part and visit all open doors and windows I can find until God says go here.

So until next time...
May God bless you and keep you!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It is official!

Today was such a wonderful day! Up there in my Top Ten. Of course, I really only have a Top 3 at the moment, but that will change :-) First on my list is the day that I FINALLY understood the great redemption that is Christ. Second is my wedding day to my wonderful husband. Third is today. Today, a judge granted my ex-husband's petition for termination of parental rights and (here is the fun part) Michael's petition to adopt David and Allison! In the petition, we requested that David and Allison's last name from Kruse to Sieja. We also requested that David's full name be changed from Carl David to David Jonathon. For those of you who don't know, Carl is also my ex's first name. David came to Mike and I a few weeks ago and told us that he didn't want to have the name Carl anymore and honestly, who can blame him? Would YOU want to share a name with a man who not only was abusive, but also totally disowned you? Yeah, I didn't think so. Effective today, Mike is the kids father in all the ways that matter. We are now OFFICIALLY The Sieja's!

I have to brag on my sweet hubby for a second...When the judge asked him if he wanted to be the kid's father, be responsible for them emotionally, financially, and in every other way for the rest of their lives, he did not say yes. He said "Wholeheartedly" - I am not a happy crier, but I teared up right there. I am so grateful for our family and the man God made for me.

On another note, week 1 with no daycare went very well! Both kids and parents are loving it and no one has lost their mind yet :-)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

NO MORE DAYCARE :-D

Well, I am SO very excited!!! After an excruciatingly long period of negotiations (okay, so more like a week...), we have come to a wonderful conclusion! The kids no longer have to go to daycare!!! Thanks to my dad who is currently both dad and boos to Mike and me, we have worked out a schedule that is going to work for everyone involved. I will work at home Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, then go pick the kids up from school (PK3 for Ally and K for David) at 11:30. On Mondays, Mike will go to Bryan to work at the storage facility my dad is business manager for and on Wenesdays and Fridays he will go work in Houston at Esco from 7:30 - 4, allowing him to beat traffic. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Mike will work at home in the mornings, then go pick the kids up from school at 11:30. Those are the days that I get to go into work, same hours. This is the best of both worlds because it lets our kids be home and I also get the benefit of being around grown-ups in the real world 2 days a week. Fantastically enough, it works out great for the company too! I think that this is going to be so good for the kids who have had a really rough 18 months and a pretty volatile life before that. This will be the first time that they will really be able to have a consistent, stay at home parent routine and life and I am just full of joy and praise God for answering our prayers in an even greater way than we could have imagined, and so quickly too! Even though the kids are paid up for daycare through the end of the month, we are starting this schedule immediately - they are more important than any "lost money"...of course, that isn't going to stop me from asking for a partial refund but I truly don't expect to get it :-P

Thanks daddy for all that you did and all the time and number crunching involved to make this work - there is no better JaJa than you anywhere on this Earth!

Another awesome thing that is going on is that Mike has signed up for the Alternative Teacher Certification. He starts at the beginning of February and it is on-line! So, we are praying and expecting that he will be teaching history somewhere starting next fall!

God is GOOD!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Busy bees

Well, I thought that I would be better at posting more often but it always drops to the bottom of my to-do list. The kids are watching a movie, the husband is making dinner, and the house is basically picked up so I am stealing a few moments to post.
Last week started off tough for little David. On Tuesday, he got sent to the principal's office by 10 a.m. - I remind you, he is 5 years old, so it takes a LOT to get to that point. This is actually the second time that he was sent to the office this year and we have had many notes home about his behavior. So, I bit the bullet and scheduled a conference with the teacher. Before I went in, I had all these thoughts in my head about how she would tell me that he is misbehaving because I am a bad mom, that he shouldn't be in school yet because he isn't mature enough, etc. Okay, so I have a bit of a worry problem, I am working on it! What actually happened when I got there is me bursting into tears when we started talking about David's issues in school. It is hard when one of your kids is having trouble, y'all! After we talked, we were able to come up with a plan of action - one that should have been obvious to both of us. The bottom line is consistency. David can be VERY vocal (aka throw a huge tantrum) when things don't go his way (yes mom, I know he gets it from me-shhhh), so it is sometimes just easier to give in. For the teacher because it disrupts the class and for me because I was just so tired for so long being a single mom. We decided that even if it is harder for awhile, we would be firm, loving, and consistent with our actions and always follow through on what we said. In addition, Mike and I started praying (even more) for David to learn obedience and respect and for all of the adults in his life to have patience and wisdom in helping him learn. I expected it to be a rough couple of weeks following, wouldn't you? Well, miracles still happen it seems because from last Wednesday all the way through yesterday, David stayed on green (meaning he had little or no problems behaving in class) EVERY DAY!!!! Today, he had a tantrum one time, but honestly I am okay with that - we all have bad days. The thing he has to learn is to not let it last all day.

On a fun note, art classes and gymnastics started up again!!! The kids are so happy about this. So am I because Ally loves her gymnastics and David loves his art classes so they kept asking "When are we going to go? Why are they still closed?" I started going back to my mom's Bible study yesterday now that my schedule is back to normal and am so happy about that.

What else... oh! my January goals! Well, I am doing pretty good on most of them! I have been going to Curves at least 2 times a week and am going to go 3 times a week starting this week. I am doing the Wii Fit 2 times a week - I have to get on that tonight, now that I am thinking about it...The boundaries are in the works but I think they are getting closer to where they should be. I have stayed faithful to putting God first and am on day 14 of 14 in my year-plan for reading the Bible! We have not had dinner out except for 1 time this month. We are cooking at home and I am making Mike and I lunches just about every day. I hope that my patience is getting better but Mike would be a better judge of that :-) I will have a weight update on Monday - that is the weigh-in day for my Curves weight loss class. I haven't invited anyone new over yet this month, but have invited a new friend for coffee tomorrow so I am counting that :-) AND.....I have quit smoking!!! No ciggies for me since last Thursday!!!

Well, I think that covers the biggies...I am off to explain to David why a popsicle can't come before dinner.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Another New Year, more resolutions

Happy New Year everyone! I can hardly believe that it is 2010! Well, we are now "in the future" so where are all of the flying cars? Every year, people come up with resolutions and most of them don't last longer than it takes for the next week to come around. I am going to try something different this year and see if it works. I am going to make "new month" resolutions. This month, I resolve to:
1. Go to Curves and work out at least 2 times a week.
2. Work out on Wii Fit at least 2 times a week.
3. Take a walk with my family at least 4 times a week.
4. Lose 7 lbs. (okay, so I really want to lose 10 this month, but I don't want to fail my first month out now do I?)
5. Create and maintain boundaries in my life with my children, husband, parents, friends, and even strangers. Not all of these are equally needed, but every once in awhile should be taken a good look at.
6. Invite at least one new couple over to hang out at our house.
7. Put God first, even if it means I don't get to watch t.v. that night.
8. Be more patient with all those listed in #5 - I am thinking that #7 will help with this.
9. Eat meals at home, around the table, at least 4 nights a week, weekends are ever changing so I can't count them.
10. Quit smoking, this time for good. I am going to an acupuncturist on Tuesday to help with the withdrawal symptoms so now I just need to stick with it!

Okay, that seems like a good start, to say the least. I am going to give you all my total weight loss goal just so that I can be accountable to more than myself - I need to lose 75 lbs. I lost 60 over a year ago in about 9 months. I have stayed within 7 lbs. of this but still have a long way to go. I welcome any hints and especially recipes that are healthy and not terribly time consuming. I ask for prayer that I will be able to stay faithful to all of these resolutions because they are essential to me becoming a healthy woman.

What are your resolutions? How are you planning on keeping them?