Welcome to Whit's World

Welcome to the randomness that is my life. You can usually find me wandering around somewhere in my head trying to figure it all out. I blog about the loves of my life, my two boys, our new homeschooling journey, and anything else that moves me. I find that writing is the best therapy. Thanks for stopping by, and Be Blessed!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Indi Custom Jeans!!


So back in the spring time I won a pair of custom made jeans from Indi Custom Jeans http://www.indicustom.com/ in their makeover competition.  I wrote to them and sent a terrifying picture of me with jeans on that I bought before having both of my children, muffin top hanging over and all, in hopes they would choose me.  I was ever so happy when they notified me that I was going to be able to custom design my very own pair of jeans, yay!! When you order from Indi Custom you not only get a pair of jeans made precisely to your body, but you get to pick the style, wash, stitching color, pocket style, fly, rise, cut, you name it and you get a say in it!

Before Indi Custom Jeans

After Indi Custom Jeans
At the time my computer was fried and all I had was my smart phone and you cannot use their website with an iPhone so the ordering process was delayed on my part. I finally broke down and went to the library for computer access because I could not wait any longer to place the order. After about 4 weeks of waiting, the jeans finally arrived!! But oops, I had my step-daughter help me with the measurements and they were about 2 inches too short and super baggy through the legs, I was so upset. I did not want to say anything because they had generously given me a pair of custom jeans and I messsed them up. As I read through the packaging information that came with the jeans, I noticed that you can send your first order back if they do not fit perfectly and they will fix them at no extra charge (I just paid shipping)!! I had my husband help me with the measurements this time around and I received my revised pair this weekend. They fit like a dream!! I am in love with them...it's 110 degrees out and I am wearing jeans every day. The denim is so soft, which I don't find very often when buying a pair of jeans, and I love the cut, rise, wash, stitching, etc. They could not have come out more perfect!! And best of all, no more muffin top because they fit right!!



I would highly recommend visiting Indi Custom Jeans the next time you are jean shopping. The customer service I received from their staff was incredible and I was not even a paying customer. They responded to emails immediately and even called when I placed the reorder to see if they could help in any way. I will be a life-long customer of Indi Custom now! I could not be any more appreciative!!

(I wrote this blog post out of pure genuine gratitude towards Indi Custom Jeans.  I was not asked to or compensated in any way.)

Wordless Wednesday: Is Relief in Sight?


75 days of over 100 degrees this summer so far...this forecast looks rather hopeful at this point!  Someone quick say some prayers, do a raindance, anything but we need some relief in Texas!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Pure Joy


Okay, so the picture is slightly out of focus, but I was so glad to catch this shot of L!  He gets so excited about the smallest things and always reminds me that sometimes it is those small moments that mean the most.  What do you find pure joy in these days?  Take a moment before the end of this week and celebrate the small things in your life!

Whit

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Homeschooling with a Toddler in Tow...HELP?!


Me and the boys spent all morning thouroughly cleaning the room we will be homeschooling in.  The dry erase board I ordered yesterday arrived today, most of the books have been ordered and are in route, and we will go to Ikea to pick up a big table and chairs for the room.  Everything is really beginnning to come together to start school on September 6th...I even sat down and began working on a daily/weekly schedule and lesson plans this afternoon during nap time.  The one thing I failed to account for during all this preparation is what exactly am I going to do with a very active 16 month old little boy while schooling. 

Me and the hubby sat down and had a very long discussion about what to do with L while I am teaching J...I kept telling myself that it would all work itself out, maybe I was a little wrong.  DH pointed out to me that it is not fair to J to teach him with his brother driving him crazy or to ignore L in order to teach J properly.  Now he has me very concerned.  Both boys require a lot off attention in very different ways which I am capable of doing in our normal daily routines, but while schooling?  I do not want to place L in a day care environment at all and all the Mother's Day Outs will not take him until he is 18 months old and there will still be a waiting period.  We agreed that it will be very important to keep L engaged in activities while J is learning so I decided to set up an area in our "classroom" for L.  I brought some puzzles, blocks, books, a globe and a small table and chairs and placed them in a corner of the room for the little guy and he was really excited about that.  Another alternative I thought of was to ask a friend who has another 16 month old monster on her hands (and is driving me crazy about letting her babysit) to help out once or twice a week for an hour or two at a time during the first couple weeks (and I will of course compensate her).   I am going to meet up with her later this week to discuss that and I pray that will be part of the answer for now. 

I know that many of the incredible homeschooling families out there do it with little ones in tow so please pass this along to any you may know.  We are wide open to any suggestions of things that worked for your family!  God has set our family on this path for a reason and I have faith that we will figure it all out, but there are still moments that I ask myself:  "What exactly are you getting yourself into here?  Are you crazy?" 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Circus Family Fun Night


We were so blessed to be able to take J & L to the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus last night...truly "The Greatest Show on Earth!" I want to give a tremedous shout out and thank you to Christina from A Closet Writer for making it possible for us after winning a gnerous giveaway on her blog (you gotta check her site out!)!

When we got downtown it was H-O-T Hot!! Luckily we were able to park pretty close, for a price of course, and caught a petty cab to the front of the events center. The boy's eyes lit up as we walked inside and saw all the fun, it was their first time going! We splurged from the start and bought a program and a couple $10 lemonades, yikes! By the time we left a lot of money had been spent on food and drinks alone.


The pre-show started an hour before and everyone was allowed down on the floor. We arrived a little late so watched that chaos from our seats, which were really perfect for us. L clapped his hands and danced almost the entire show


and J laughed out loud and squealed with excitement all two hours.


J loved the tigers, my favorite was the elephants, and i think we all thought the motorcycles in the round cage were incredible!!


 It was truly a joy for my husband and I to watch the boys find so much joy in everything around them!


Overall, the circus was excellent! J was no problem at all and for 16 months, L really did a good job cooperating. If the Ringling Brothers come to your town, I would totally recommend making a family outing of it!

Whit

Thursday, August 18, 2011

No Turning Back Now

So it's official...I withdrew J from the public school system this morning! When we pulled into the parking lot at the school we said a prayer together and held our heads up high as we walked through the doors. The school was a wreck, still in the middle of a remodel and meet the teacher night is tonight. Not an unusual feeling to walk into that school and feel chaos and unorganization.
It was an easy process because I had done my homework and new what to be prepared for. The admin lady asked what school he would be attending and I proudly stated that we would be homeschooling from this point forward. The look of shock on her, and others around, was not easily hidden. She said that she couldn't do it until I gave them something in writing which I luckily had with me. I completely fulfilled all of my obligations to legally begin homeschooling J. I could tell that all of those ladies did not necessarily agree with our decision, but it wasn't their decision to make and I can not let that bother me.
So that's it, no turning back now! I cleared the back room out yesterday and will begin setting up our classroom as we get everything. We will begin our school year the first week in September!

Whit

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Grocery Shopping



I am in our local HEB at least four times a week...way too much, but I can never get everything I need in one trip. As L gets older and more adventurous, simple things like grocery shopping become more challenging. My answer: put him in a shopping cart that looks like a car! However, have you ever tried to push one of those things, it's not very easy to maneuver. Definitely worth the trade off because mom may leave the grocery store with some of her sanity in tact!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Dreaded First Gray Hair

Well, I can't even believe I am going to admit this, but I found my first gray hair this weekend. My husband just about needed to give me CPR as I stood in front of the mirror in total and complete shock and horror! I am only 29 years old, I am flipping out about turning 30 next year, and now this! You have got to be kidding me!?!? No I did not capture the moment with a camera, I got a pair of scissors and immediately discarded of the culprit.
I guess I kind of had that coming to me as I have been seriously harassing my hubby for the past 3 years about the growing number of grays on his head. I have gone as far as nicknaming him my silver fox as his denial can no longer exist. With that said, he found my discovery extremely humorous, I can't say that I blame him. However, here is my concern, I am only 29! I am about to begin homeschooling my oldest son which I'm sure will start rapidly increasing the gray count daily. Also, our 15 month old has to be the wildest craziest toddler you have ever seen. Every time I turn around he is climbing something, running 50 miles an hour to the one thing he can't play with, or tearing something apart. We are not even close to beginning the teenage years either, ahhhhhhhhh! It's all over now huh?!
I used to color my hair often, but there is no time or money for that anymore so I see lots of boxes of hair color in my future. (If you have a brand that you love please share!!) I guess I am officially a "grown up" now!

Have a great night everyone,
Whit

Friday, August 12, 2011

Choosing Homeschool Curriculum

So for those of you just joining, I will be homeschooling my second grade son J this year for the first time. I have been quite overwhelmed with all the choices, methods, etc. available to us, but knew I needed to just dive in and make some decisions. I stayed up entirely too late on Wednesday night researching curriculum choices and costs and believe I have made some good choices to at least get us started. I do have several things that I want J to learn this year that cannot be found in a textbook, but having physical books to guide us helps me feel a little more confident in the beginning stages, so here's what I am looking at:

*SPELLING* Power Spelling - I found a local family that is selling a used copy of the Power Spelling textbook and CD for $40, which comparatively to what I have seen online is a decent deal.?

*Grammar & Writing* English for the Thoughtful Child, Vol. 1 & Primary Language Lessons - I found these on Amazon.com for under $15 each.

*History* The Mystery of History, Vol 1 - I found a new copy on Rainbow Resource for $38.

*Science* Noeo Science - We will begin with their Vol. 1 textbooks which are Biology 1, Chemistry 1 and Physics 1 through their website at $19.95 each; we will just purchase Biology 1 for now.

*Math* Singapore Math Textbooks and Workbooks 2A & 2B - I found these at a local store called Book People, and I have $20 credit there thanks to a giveaway won this week! That will be enough to get 2A of the text and workbook to make sure that's what works for us.

So I come up to a total of $121.69 for textbooks only to get us started this year; that is a whole lot better than I had anticipated! There are a few other things that I would like, one of which is a dry erase board which I also found on Amazon for about $15. (Here is my Amazon wishlist: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/ls/ref=aw_ls_link?lid=363LM3XCOR733&listType=wishlist&act=SearchResult&fieldName=whitlav%40gmail.com )

Please feel free to give me any feedback or recommendations about the curriculum I am currently looking at, and if you or someone you know has an old copy laying around of any of these then please let me know! I must say that this has made me that much more excited about embarking on this journey. J loves to learn and is like a sponge...I know I am going to love teaching him and watching him explore the world!

Thanks, Whit

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Momma's Guns


I figured I would bring my own weapons to the "gun show", lol, just kidding, but I am quite pleased with the muscle tone my arms have gained! My arms started getting pretty flabby, until L came along; carrying a 25 lb. kid everywhere is quite the work out. So all you momma's, be proud of those kid toting guns!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Giving Thanks for the Miracles in My Life

Life for me hasn't always been easy, I have been through and seen A LOT and there were so many times in my life that I found myself asking "Why me?" No matter how bad things may get, or seem sometimes, I give thanks for certain things before my feet hit that floor every single morning, my two healthy and happy boys!
J came when I was still very young and very clueless about life in general. Nontheless I fell in love with him and my life changed forever in the blink of an eye. He was such an easy, happy baby...slept all night in his crib in his own room from week 2 on. Very very easy!! But, at 3 months old, he contracted RSV in daycare and became very very ill. We missed his baptism on Christmas Eve and were at home doing breathing treatment after breathing treatment. For the next 2 and a half years the poor baby would enter the hospital a total of 13 times, 11 of which breathing related and 2 allergic reactions. There were several visits spent in an oxygen tent in ICU 20 hours a day. My heart broke for the poor baby every time, and he was just always so good and tough and strong to be so very sick.
Well J's last hospitalization was almost 4 years ago now and he no longer has asthma!! No medicine, no problelms! A miracle!!! He can run, play sports, ride his bike, go outside in the wind, with no more problems...Praise the Lord!
I thought for a very long time that I would never have another child, but the time came when God opened my heart to the idea of having another baby. I was scared because I didn't know if I could handle anything bad happening again. We tried on and off for 2 years and nothing, very discouraging. I had been having a lot of female problems during that time as well. One night I ended up in the ER hunched over in pain begging for help. They found a golfball sized cyst on my left ovary and scar tissue everywhere basically functioning as a rubberband around all of my reproductive organs, the doctor explained this is why we were not having another child. I was scheduled for laproscopic surgery a week later which was performed by the most amazing, genuine and caring doctor I have ever met. Everything came back clear for cancer and I felt like a million bucks within two weeks. We took J to his first day of Kindergarten soon after and I cried and cried, I wanted another baby!! Three weeks later I found out that I was six weeks pregnant with L! Another amazing miracle, I felt so blessed. This pregnancy was much easier than the first and fortunately L is the healthiest baby, he has never been really sick, such a transition from J. (The sleeping, easy baby thing, another story though, lol.)

I truly believe that those are two miracles that God has granted me the privilege of seeing and experiencing first hand, and I am so abundantly thankful every single day for the gifts he has given! What are you thankful for? What miracles have you witnessed? God is good, let's praise him for that!

Friday, August 5, 2011

To Homeschool or Not...That is the Question

So the summer is just flying by and the start of another school year is just weeks away here in Texas. We have been back and forth on whether or not we should make the decision to begin homeschooling J this year or give him one more year in public school. I finally stood up after an incident last weekend and said it's time to just pull the trigger.
The majority of you probably do not know, but J has Asperger's which is a highly functioning form of Austism. I don't speak much about it because I refuse to put a label on him like that. He is a very intelligent, fun and active little boy, and that is how I want him to perceive himself. But the fact of the matter is, he has some major obstacles in a lot of different areas on a daily basis dealing with his "gift".
I am one semester of student teaching away from obtaining a Math & Science Education degree, so I know I am capable of teaching, but when it comes to your own child it's a different story. I am the first to admit that this whole idea scares me greatly, but I know that he will reap the benefits of a homeschool environment.
Luckily we reside in a state that does not require a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo. From what I have researched, we are required to send a certified letter to J's principal stating we have chosen to homeschool our child, and must have a legitimate curriculum in place. After that, it's up off and away. It has been quite overwhelming looking at all of the curriculum available, so I have decided to start with #1: decide on a homeschooling method. There is the Charlotte Mason Method, Classical Education Method, Eclectic Homeschooling Method, Montessori Method, Unit Studies Approach, Natural Learning Method, and the Waldorf Education Method. WOW, that was a lot to take in for me! I believe that in the end, our method will be a collaboration of several of those listed. And who is to say that we must stick with a method that is not working, where in lies one of the many beauties of the homeschool environment.
I have joined a local homeschooling group who openly email questions on to a board and have regular meet-ups; they have all been very open and helpful with any and all questions so far and look to be a wonderful resource and support group. I was also happy to hear that there is a homeschool store located in Cedar Park that I am anxious to go browse through as I make curriculum decisions in the upcoming weeks.
This will be a very interesting journey to say the very least! I am so very thankful though that God continued to lay this on my heart until I opened up to it. I truly believe that J will prosper from this decision we are making. I will continue to share with you all as I go through the entire process. Thank you again for sharing a glimpse of my life with me and please share this post with any homeschooling families you know. I could use all of the suggestions, ideas and encouragement I can get!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

First Post: In Honor of National Breastfeeding Week

So it's National Breastfeeding Week and I stand up proudly and say that I have now breastfed my second son for 15 months and still going strong!  I was not so ambitious the first time around...I was young, stressed, overworked and underslept, so I made it 6 months with J.  He was a very sick child, in and out of the hospital for the first 3 years of his life and it was just all too much.  My milk supply dried up and no amount of pills or remedies were bringing it back.  I struggled years afterwards about whether or not I was a "bad mom" for not carrying through with it, but every child is different and every mom is different and it just doesn't always work out.
Well, fast-forward to today...15 months and I do not see a near end in sight for breastfeeding L.  He is thriving, healthy and happy, but I will admit, a little "addicted" to momma's good stuff.  I had planned on weaning him at his first birthday, but then I realized, why stop there?  We often wonder if we are creating a monster by allowing him to continue, but at the same time, it is just so good for him.  He eats 3 good square meals a day, plenty of snacking in between, and breastfeeds anywhere from 5-10 times a day.  When he is teething and not feeling well, eating comforts him.
I do not know how I will even begin to wean him at this point though.  If I try to distract him and postpone feeding times, he becomes extremely upset.  I never pumped and offered him a bottle which we now regret greatly, but I cannot go back and change the way we did any of it.  He will drink water or coconut milk out of a sippy cup, but he still wants momma.  When he is hungry, he grabs his favorite blanket and hunts me down with it in tow.  My husband laughs and calls him a hobo with his satchel when we see him coming blanket over his shoulder. 
I know that when we decide to eliminate the breastfeeding, I will have quite the battle on my hands, but at the end of the day, so worth it! Did you breastfeed?  How long?  Did you catch lip from others about it and did that affect your decision?  Please share your thoughts, comments, weaning suggestions, etc.  I look forward to hearing everyone's feedback and appreciate you taking the time to read a glimpse from my life!

This is the famous blanket, it is so soft and comfy!

Waking up, grabbing blanket to eat first thing!



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I’m celebrating World Breastfeeding Week with Natural Parents Network!

You can, too — link up your breastfeeding posts from August 1-7 in the linky below, and enjoy reading, commenting on, and sharing the posts collected here and on Natural Parents Network.

(Visit NPN for the code to place on your blog.)