Monthly Archives: August 2014

Parenting Got Tougher..



We are parents of a toddler, but more specifically a parent of a one and a half year old. We have heard from many that the threes are far worse than the twos, but we are beginning to experience that phase of complete meltdowns due to frustration over not being able to communicate. We often see him throw himself on the floor, fake cry, scream in anger, hitting or throwing—he is seeing some consequences with these, and just pure “life is over” when he cannot get things his way. Now, as a teacher and a police officer, we are all over these behaviors and trying to teach him to use his words or prevent these outburts by planning nap time, dinner time and really life around his schedule. One thing we learned over the vacation is that dinner out may not be happening as much until the kinks are worked out.

We blame ourselves for taking him too late because we knew he was beginning to get tired and hungry. But our worlds of freedom are closing more each day as we realize we must get a sitter, train him to act right, change our schedule or just eat at home. We know the world understands and does not judge us too much, but we judge ourselves and we fear raising a spoiled brat that manipulated us to get what he wants or the other extreme of strict parenting where he will one day rebel or resent us. For now, I am content being the mean teacher, but so much we are learning as we go and what is a realistic expectation vs we live in a fantasy world. He loves these alphabet songs on youtube, so while we were eating out a little bit too late, we threw the phone in his face and just watched the judgmental glares of “how dare you put your kid in front to the media so you can eat in peace” If they were not saying it, then we were because we do not want to be that family that is all on their games/phones instead of talking. For now though, we will just accept we did what we had to do to keep him from throwing food or screaming in random outbursts (almost like he is angry at the world or getting bad service) while we figure it out.

The good news is: I think we are judging ourselves too harshly, but it is such a hard age and a crucial age to develop good habits. We don’t want him to learn these tantrums produce positive results but we don’t want to ruin the dinner of others either. Thankfully, we have grandparents are good sitters nearby because stuffing our face and getting the check early is getting old.

Update Three: First ever Tyndall Family Vacation!


So the Tyndalls ventured off into the great unknown and took our first ever family vacation with our son! We were terrified to take him out of his comfort zone, but knew it was time. We packed up the car..literally stuffed all his things into the trunk and journeyed to Surfside Beach Texas.

I am not going to lie…it was hard work! Keeping up with a toddler in someone else’s home is no joke, but we made so many memories as a family and Nathan and I tackled this task together which is always a blessing. At the end, we were proud that we did it and we felt like Rock Star parents!

As soon as we got there (about five hours) we immediately introduced him to the beach! His daddy did a great job of carrying him (he is heavy) while I carried the huge bag of beach toys we bought for the trip.

At first, Callen was afraid of the waves. He loves water so we were surprised, but he would run up to them and then when they came up close…he would turn around and say “no!” He finally got used to them our last day there and then loved them!

We rented this amazing house that was perfect for us. Our first night Callen was so tired that he had a huge breakdown at bedtime. He climbed out of the pack and play (has never happened) and screamed for about forty five minutes. We moved him into our room (which has never happened) in his pack and play since we don’t share our bed and he finally calmed down. After that first night, he did great every other nap and bedtime!

Callen’s biological brother lives near Surfside, so him and his family got to spend the day with us on Saturday. They had a great time swinging, tossing the ball, chasing each other, screaming-a lot and playing in the sand. I always love seeing them interact since it is unlikely Callen will get a sibling from us…it makes me smile to know he still has one.

Callen loved the sand! I am very appreciate of Shadymates for this shade we were able to set up in the sand just for him. It was lightweight, easy to carry and perfect for his toys!

We ventured to walk the jetty and were deceived at how long it was! Poor Callen was so hot by the end, but he was a trooper. We asked a fisherman to take this pic of our family and I love it!

This trip gave me so many chances to praise God and admire his creation. I ran the beach one day listening to my worship and praise music and just admired how small we are compared to this huge body of water. On the last day, I set my alarm to see the sunrise from our porch and it was glorious. In light of our troubles, there is so much goodness to be thankful for. God is good!

One of Callen’s favorite things to do is throw sand! It was a battle we faced all weekend. I love this outfit he is and it will what he is wearing in our next professional pics…such a cute beach outfit!

Finally, Callen loves hats and I thought this one of him wearing my floppy hat was just perfect! It sums up our adventure of family, laughing, relaxing and just making new memories together. I definitely see us making this a yearly trip!

Update Two-Adoption Book


safe_image[2]I finally got around to cashing in my Shutterfly gift card and making my “How we Got to You Book” for Callen. I wanted him to have a picture book about the journey we took to find him and make him our son. I used the Shutterfly site for our Adoption Book for his birthmother, so I used them again since they were so easy. My biggest challenge is I like to customize it and that takes so much longer than just plugging pictures into one already created. I had been working on it for three hours and was on page twenty when the Internet shut down and I LOST EVERYTHING! So frustrating! The good thing is that I had the ideas and pics already pulled out, so I just had to restart and plug it all back in..sometimes the idea is the most challenging. I began the project at 10pm when Callen fell asleep and was finished by 3am…another labor of love!

It came in about a month ago and I love it. It is a picture book written for Callen that starts with day one of our adoption journey and goes through step by step of what it took to find him. He loves to have it read to him over and over and I love that it includes pictures of his birthparents as well. I hope he will use this book to understand the love that we all had in finding him. I also want to use it to help others understand our adoption journey because many people ask and it is really hard to explain.

Click here to view this photo book larger

Start your own Shutterfly Photo Book today.

The website says the above link will take you to the book…seems crazy long, but if it works then enjoy looking at it! We hope and pray that Callen will view his adoption in the positive and loving light that we do. He is a gift from God that we feel led to find and it is a miracle that he is all ours to love everyday, but has some very loving birthparents that are eager to watch him grow as well!

The good news is: God used adoption to create our family and gave us a story to tell through this book/blog!

Update one: medications and appointments


mother sonIt is that dreaded time of the year, where I have to take off my full time mommy hat and put back on half teacher-half mommy and try to juggle them both with the less amount of guilt as possible. I am so fortunate that we have a variety of amazing people that watch our son during the week, so that I can work without worrying. Nathan’s mom watches him one day, Nathan watches him one day, my dad watches him one day and an in home daycare watches him for two days. I have such great things to say about each one and seeing both sets of grandparents in a week is a huge plus! We are so blessed.

I have been frantically attending appointments that I like to do during the summer when I have the most time. The appointments are a huge relief when things check out well, but also a huge reminder that I still live with Lupus and all the heavy stuff that comes with it. I visited my rheumatoidologist to report that I am feeling very well and hoping the stress from school will not create a flare (But I know it will). He encouraged me to lower my medicine dosage of the Plaquenil which is a long term drug, so I worried about it, but decided to go ahead and wean off it a little. The summer can make you feel so good with lots of rest and no stress…real life is the hard stuff! I visited my OBGYN for a yearly check up. Always awkward to be in a waiting room with a bunch of pregnant women (some with lots of kids), but I should be used to it now. I always feel broken when after leaving her office, since I always thought she would deliver my baby, but she was a huge part in diagnosing my Lupus and helping me seek infertility treatments. I visited my eye doctor to get tests done to be sure there no longterm damage from the Lupus medications and finally will visit the dentist in a week since auto immune disorders can cause your teeth to decay quickly. Lots of appointments, but thankful all are covered by health insurance (which we are getting a new one soon which is always unsettling, but hopeful will save us some money) and I am thankful they are all check ups and not something more.

The good news is: I feel so great right now even with the over sun exposure that can set off symptoms in Lupus. I always commit to sleeping more during the school year and maintaining a work out schedule and not stressing about school…we will see how it goes for this year. I am so excited to team teach this year which means I can focus on the subjects that I LOVE! So, I am hoping that the love of teaching is relit, because it has dwindled lately.