Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Resolutions

Well, it's that time of year again...time for a fresh start and new resolutions. Why do we make resolutions when January 1st comes around? Do we feel guilty for all the indulging from the holiday festivities? Is it just a natural time for a new beginning? Is it a good excuse to give in to our cravings and laziness the other 11 months of the year?
I've never been one to make resolutions because honestly I'm not good at keeping them. I try so hard to set goals for myself but I always find a good reason why I cannot achieve those goals. Past goals that I have yet to achieve include training for and running a 5k, reading thru the Bible in a year, working out consistently....there's more too but I won't bore you with the details. When I look back at these failed attempts I am so disappointed in myself because they are not hard goals to reach. If I would just get myself motivated on a daily basis them maybe I could get there. Sometimes I think I need to be held accountable so I ask friends or family to work on these goals with me. It always starts out good but never pans out. I also spend way too much time researching on how to achieve my goals rather than getting up off my lazy butt and working toward them. There are so many good excuses too....I'm tired, I just ate, the boys need me, there's house work to do. I really need to just suck it up and be a good example to my boys on how to work hard to achieve something you've set out to do.
So, with that said I'm going to work on a list of goals I'd like to reach in 2011. I'm not going to label them as resolutions because I never keep those. Maybe if they are goals it will be easier for me to succeed. Once I have my goals I want to post them here. I know I don't have too many followers but maybe knowing that others are aware of my goals will give me a little extra motivation to work toward them.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Thinking of renaming my blog...

A suitable name right now would be "Diary of a Sleep Deprived Momma." For some reason Sean has decided that he no longer wants to be a good sleeper. For the past six weeks he's been sleeping so erratically and not taking his normal good nap. At first we thought it was because of his teeth...he had four, yup FOUR molars coming in all at once. I figured that would be enough to make him wake up in the middle of the night in pain and fight sleep during the day. Now that they have all cut thru his gum I'm not so sure that was the case. He's still going to bed around 7 but lately he's been waking up at 9 or 10. Sometimes just crying for a few minutes then going back to sleep and other times needing comforted and put back down. Then the mornings...oh the dreaded mornings. Some times he'll wake up at 5, sometimes if we're lucky 6, but today he decided that 4:22 was a great time to wake up. We've been trying to leave him to comfort himself back to sleep. He needs to learn that he can't just get up to play whenever he feels like it. Unfortunately, leaving him means that he cries....and cries....and cries. Today it was 2 hrs of crying. To top that off his crying woke Luke up at 5:30 as well. We put Luke back to bed (much to his disappointment) and continued with our plan. Luke was up again at 6:20 and by 6:30 I threw in the towel. I thought with the "cry it out" method that it got easier each time. That each time you let them alone the crying time would get shorter and shorter as they learned that you wouldn't come running. Guess Sean didn't get that memo. How can CIO work if after 2 hrs of crying there's no sign of an end? *sigh* Time to find some books and ask for recommendations I guess.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What happened to Thanksgiving?

Before Halloween was even upon us I noticed that the stores were already starting to cram all their Halloween items into fewer aisles and sneaking in the Christmas stuff. UGH! Why rush it? I love Christmas, I really do, even more now that I have kids, but when did it become a 2 month long event? If people were celebrating the true Christmas for two months I'd be happy and pleased but that's not the case. When the stores and TV are blaring blinking lights and Santa 24/7 on November 8 it makes it hard to keep your kids focused on the real meaning of the Christmas season. Not only that...what about Thanksgiving?! It's not just a day to eat good food and watch football all day but it's a day to remember where we came from and give thanks for everything we have. Oh, but wait, that won't make people money will it? *sigh*
On a happy, non ranting note, I have been very happy to see many "thankful" posts on Facebook from my friends. It's so good to see how blessed we all truly are!
With that I will share something I'm thankful for...I am truly thankful that there is a God in heaven who loved me enough from the very beginning of time that He sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to live the life of a mortal man and to die so that I might have true salvation. If it weren't for this one amazing thing there would be nothing else to be thankful for. This, to me, is the base of my life, this is the reason for everything, and for that I am eternally thankful.

Monday, November 8, 2010

New Discoveries

Lately I've been finding myself really amazed at my boys. Seeing the word thru their eyes and experiencing things all over again with them has been indescribable. The best part is seeing three different perspectives all at once. With their varying ages it's so cool to see how they each interpret and react yet they all share that pure and beautifully innocent joy that shines thru their eyes. Oh how I wish that I could capture and contain it.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Being a parent has certain perks!

One of which is that we are able to watch and enjoy cartoons and say that they are really on for our kids. Yes, I admit, when I see that there is a new episode of Backyardigans on I get a little excited. Now I have a new cartoon love....POCOYO!Seriously, how cute is he?! Even the boys know I love this little short cartoon they've started showing on Nick Jr. When it starts Will calls me, "Momma! It's a new Pocoyo!" And yes, of course I drop everything and snuggle on the couch to watch with them and laugh my fool head off and their absolute adorableness! I'm really hoping they start showing a full spot of Pocoyo but in the meantime I'll enjoy the little 10 minutes of joy I get every now and then.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Blue? Green? Hazel?

I can't quite figure out what color Sean's eyes are. For the longest time they were blue...well, more of a gray blue but still blue. Now tho I'm not sure. They are definitely changing. I don't think they will be brown like the other two but I can't tell just yet what they are. What do you think? Well, regardless of what color those beautiful eyes are, he sure is cute!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Thank you Dr. Seuss!

Will sat down today and asked to read some books...what books you ask? Four Dr. Seuss books which his Nonna had brought when she visited in May. As I sat there reading so many memories came flooding back. Memories of many nights at my grandparents house in Oklahoma City where my Grampa would tuck me in and read. If I close my eyes I can still hear his voice reading "If I Ran the Circus". He read with such passion and fun in his voice...maybe that's why the memories are so vivid. I remember being taken away to a different world when he'd sit there and read to me and I begged for just one more page when it was time to sleep. I still have the very book that was read to me hundreds of times. The book is full of character, worn with love and marked with crayon. I loved that book so much that at my wedding I bought a new copy to give to my Grampa as a gift. I wanted us to both have the book to relive the memory. Now I can read it, along with other Dr. Suess books, to my boys and I hope that they too carry the memory with them and pass it on to their children some day.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Organization...who needs it?!

I've tried and tried and tried but I just can't do it! I don't know if it's just not in my personality or what but it's just not working for me! I've printed out so many schedules and papers to keep track of things that need done, things that need bought and times to do them all. Problem is that it's so much work to just sit down and figure out how much work needs done! Exhausting!
Now, we don't live in total disarray and chaos...I am semi organized about some things. The boys have bins for toys...cars in one...markers in another...puppets in a basket...etc. I even have some of my craft stuff in various bins. I'm trying. But, when it comes down to organizing my time I just can't do it. I thought it would be a good idea to have a schedule of sorts for the boys and myself....something like...
9 am breakfast
9:30 color
10:00 read a book
10:30 snack
11:00 free play
12:00 lunch
And so on. But I soon found that with waking up all too often at 6 or 6:30 I'm lucky if I can stay awake! I also enjoy the fun of being spontaneous and not having a schedule tying us down.
So, for those of you who are uber organized, scheduled and listed I admire you and truly wish I could be like you. But alas, I know my shortcomings and have decided to embrace my unorganized self and enjoy every chaotic moment!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Seven Years And Counting!

It's hard to believe but seven years have passed since Ed and I stood before many witnesses and declared our love and commitment to each other making vows to love and cherish each other forever. So much has happened in the past seven years....it's amazing to look back and see all that we've accomplished...we went from a little family of three to a crazy family of six! Eeep! Six!!! What wonderful years they have been! I'm so thankful for my love...I'm so thankful for the bond we have and the home that we have created. I look forward to many many more years ahead full of exciting adventures! I know there will be hard times...but we've come this far...I know that we can get thru anything together! I love you, Babe, always and forever!! xoxoxo


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Doing our part and going a little green!

Today is Earth Day...a day to treat this place we call home a little better. Why take just a day tho...why not make some lifestyle changes to be 'green' all year long? Here are some things that we have been doing as a family to help limit our waste and be a little more 'green'.

Compost
Since last summer we've been composting. Anything that is compostible goes in a bucket under our sink and then emptied out into our compost pile near our little garden. At first I didn't really think there was much that we had that could go into compost...boy was I wrong...that bucket fills up FAST! Here are some things that go in the bucket: coffee filters and used coffee grinds, tea bags, onion peels, apple cores, banana peels, egg shells, lettuce cores, orange peels, and dryer lint.

Recycle
We've always talked about how crazy it is how much junk mail we get on a daily basis and what a waste it is. These companies could be saving so much money if they would simply eliminate the crap they send around! Normally we would just put it all right in the garbage but we've started setting it in a pile...that pile then goes into a box to go to the local paper recycle bin. If it's something like a credit card application it gets shredded first before going to the recycle bin. Let me tell you...this stuff adds up FAST! We also recycle cardboard boxes and plastic containers.

Cloth Diapers
I know, cloth diapers?? Yup! I've just recently started cloth diapering and at the moment only use them on Luke. It's amazing how far cloth diapers have come and how easy they are! Right now I have one all in one diaper that is just like a disposable but you just throw it in the wash rather than in the trash. I also have some pocket diapers that require an insert but they are just as easy. They both go on just like a sposie....so super easy! I've also been fortunate to have friends for reference and I also have a local shop that is all about cloth diapers that has been a wonderful help! www.happybabycompany.com I called one day and spoke to Adam (the owner) and he took the time to answer all my questions...he spent over 20 minutes on the phone with me explaining to me how to use the diaper as well as helping me figure out how many diapers I would need. So far things are going great with using cloth on Luke...I hope to add more diapers to my collection so I can also use them for Sean! Not only will we be saving money but it will be less that we as a family will be adding to a landfill somewhere. Check out www.happybabycompany.com today...they are even having a special 15% off sale in honor of earth day and they always have free shipping!!
http://happybabycompany.com


Energy Efficient Lightbulbs
We made the switch to the energy efficient bulbs about 2 yrs ago. They are a little more expensive but they last a VERY long time and use less energy. Nice and easy way to save money and energy!

We are continually looking for more ways to be 'green'. One wonderful side effect is that we are teaching this to our boys. They now know what items can go into compost and what items go into our recycle pile.

So, take it from me, being green is easy....go ahead, give it a try and soon you'll find that it's second nature

Monday, March 1, 2010

Cake #2 - First time with fondant!

Well, here it is!  My very first fondant cake!  I made marshmallow fondant which was super easy to make and seemed to be easy to work with as well.   I'm pretty happy with how things went considering this was my first fondant experience.  I had a couple spots wrinkle and even one hole but I think that's because I didn't roll it onto my rolling pin to place it on the cake...I just tried to lift it which I won't do again.  Coloring the fondant was very easy.  I originally wanted to do pink and brown but as I tried to color the pink into brown I just got the dark purple so I just went with it.   I can't wait to do another one!!   (Oh, and for those of you wondering...the cake under the fondant is a three layer chocolate cake with chocolate butter cream icing.  I didn't eat any but those who did said it was super yummy!)


Saturday, February 27, 2010

My new hobby!

I know, I know! Like I really need ANOTHER hobby! Just add it to the list...Photography, Beading, Sewing and now Baking/Decorating. I'm blaming this one on my friend Amber! My interest all started when I saw the beautiful cakes that she had made. After talking with her about them it made me wonder if I too could make some fun creations. As much as I wanted to try my hand at it tho I put it off...there was just too much going on at the time and I was still working. Then the time came for Luke's 2nd birthday and of course they don't offer store made cakes featuring his favorite thing in the world at the moment...Yo Gabba Gabba! So, my options were to either choose a different cake or try to make one myself and know that he would be beside himself thrilled.

The first thing I needed to do was find the figures...for without the figures the cake would just look like some crazy rainbow exploded! I searched two Targets and failed both times. Finally we hit up the local Toys R Us. As we walked down the aisle a light shown down from heaven and the angels sang as we spotted them....okay, it wasn't quite that dramatic but we were all pretty happy to finally find them! I wish you could have seen the look on Luke's face...that boy was SOOOO happy to have his Gabba friends! Unfortunately now we were faced with another problem....the boy had a death grip on those toys! He wouldn't even let them out of his little fingers long enough for the cashier to ring them up! All the way home he tried his best to open that box too...if it took him all day he was going to get that thing open! I decided it was best to let him have some play time with his new toys and just pray that one or more wouldn't get lost so when the time came to decorate the cake they would all be ready to take their places as part of the decorations.

Due to the snow storms we had to postpone Luke's little family party a week. On Saturday (2/13) I baked the cakes and made the icing. It was fun (and quite the workout) making the icing...well, the workout was more in coloring the icing! Being a little bit of a perfectionist it took me a while before I was happy with the colors. I was able to get the cakes base iced and stacked that night and into the fridge. The next day I made a smaller batch of icing so I'd have a couple more colors for accents and then got to work. It was SO much fun to decorate this cake. My only problem was that I didn't have all the right tools so my icing wasn't quite as smooth as I wanted but from a distance it wasn't really noticeable. When it was completely finished we realized that one of the Gabba friends were missing...Brobee was nowhere to be found! OH NO!!! So the search was on...thankfully Ed was able to find him and he took his designated spot on the very tip top of the cake. DONE! Luke was loving it! It made me so happy to see the smile on his face and know that he was more than pleased! I've attached some photos below of the cake and the happy birthday boy. :)

Now I'm hooked...well, more than hooked...I think I'm addicted. I want to make more cakes but yet it's probably not wise to eat so much cake so here I am waiting for more opportunities to make them....or at least opportunities to take them somewhere for other people to eat them! Who really needs a reason for a cake?! My next experiment is going to be marshmallow fondant. I actually made a batch this morning and can't wait to give it a try! I'll be sure to post pictures!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Adventures in Winterland!

It all began on a cold, dreary Friday...sounds like the beginning of an adventure doesn't...well, it was...the beginning of our adventure in winterland! Friday afternoon, February 5 it started to rain...around 4 the rain began to turn to fine snow and soon that snow turned to big, wet flakes. At 4:30 Aaron was at work and Ed called to say he was on his way home and the roads were already covered with about an inch. When Ed got home the snow was really coming down and we could see that what the news was predicting was actually happening. (I know, not too often that it happens but I guess even they are right sometimes!) We got the boys snug in bed and were watching the word outside transform into a beautiful white winterland. As we were looking out the back we noticed some branches had fallen from one of our trees and that's when the lights flickered. Great. The power quickly came back and we began to gather flashlights and all the candles. We waited a few more minutes and everything seemed to be fine. We sat down to play a game to pass the time until Aaron was supposed to get home from work when everything went dark....and this time the lights didn't come back on. We lit some candles and watched the snow pile up...looked like there was at least 4 or more inches out now...we were starting to worry about Aaron getting home. Thankfully Aaron called before he left and he took the 'easy' way home and didn't have any issues until he went to pull up in front of the house. At this point it was about 11:30 and we were still with out power. Ed went out to help Aaron clear a spot for his car and that's when we saw how deep the snow was...there was at least 12 inches already and the snow was still coming down in big, wet flakes. I'm not one who normally likes snow...to me it just complicates things...but this snow, as inconvenient as it was...was beautiful. It was amazing because even tho there was no power and the sky was covered with snow clouds there was this glow outside. It was so bright you could easily read a book with out any lights out there! Since we still did not have power we gathered up all our blankets and made sure the boys were well covered. We went to bed hoping that we'd wake up with the power restored. Unfortunately we woke up to more snow and a cold house.


We bundled the boys up in layers, hats and coats. Even Sean was in two blanket sleepers and his hat! We boiled some water (thank goodness for our gas stove!) and made some hot cream of wheat and coffee (thank you french press!). We called Ed's parents as well to see how they were doing...thankfully they still had power. By 9 our power was still out and that's when I started seeing Luke's breath. We couldn't stay here any longer...it was getting too cold. Ed and Aaron bundled up and headed out to dig out the car so they could see if we'd be able to get over to Ed's parents. We also started gathering up clothes and such in case we had to stay the night. Ed called to tell me that the roads were bad but that we should be able to make it over to his parents. When they got back we loaded up the car and packed all six of us into the little red civic since it was the best car in the snow.


Now normally it takes us about 7 min to get to Pat and Ed's house...not so much today. We drove along 906 which runs right along side the river....it had been plowed but you could not see the pavement. Rather than 18+ inches of fluff it was compacted into probably 4 inches of packed snow...not fun for driving on. An added danger were the trees...there were so many branches and even entire trees on the road. It was like driving thru an icy obstacle course. Thankfully Ed is a wonderful driver in the snow. Me, I sat in the back praying the whole way. The original way Ed wanted to go ended up not working...we got about 1/3 of the way down the road to find out that it was closed due to fallen trees. I was a little worried at this point...were we going to have to turn around and go back home? Ed drove in reverse (very skillfully I might add!) back down to the main road where we tried a different route. Thankfully this way was wider and we were able to get around the branches and such on the road. We were almost to my inlaw's street when we noticed that it had not been touched at all. We decided that we were close enough to walk the rest of the way. Ed dropped me off with all the boys. Aaron carried Sean in his carrier, I carried Luke and Will walked. Well, that didn't last long. Walking thru what was now about 20" of snow is not easy....especially when you're only about 4' yourself. Poor Will kept falling. Thankfully there were some men outside who I asked for help. The one put Will right up on his shoulders and walked the rest of the way with us. I think the total walk was probably about 3 blocks. Once we were in the house (Yay warmth!!!) I called Ed....he couldn't find a place to park the car. Aaron went back out to meet him at the end of the street and they drove around a bit till they found a safe place to dig out a parking spot. Finally around 12:30 or 1 we were all safe and warm! Whew! What a day!! I'm so thankful that Ed's parents were there to give us a warm place to stay and company to keep our spirits up.


Sunday morning came....it was Luke's 2nd birthday!! What a birthday for the little man! We hung out a while...made some breakfast and tried to keep the boys busy. Ed and Aaron dug out Pat and Ed's car and then hiked back to our Civic to head home to check on things. While they were gone Pat pulled out some cake mix so Will and I could make Luke a cake. If we couldn't have our little party that we originally had planned then we were at least gonna give the little guy cake! While the cake was in the oven my phone rang...I held my breath....Ed said "Do you hear that?"...I listened...it was the sound of our TV....we had power!!!!


When we finally got home I think we all breathed a BIG sigh of relief! Whew! After cooking up some late lunch we got Luke's cake out and sang to him. At first he didn't know what to do and actually hid from his cake! Finally he realized it was a good thing and let Will help him blow out his candles. Will pulled out the gifts and Luke was happy as can be with his new things! He will never remember but it was quite a crazy birthday for my little man!


This is the view out our back window. The poor tree was so heavy from the snow!


Branches that were falling from the bigger tree. You can also see the boys out back with the neighbor digging out the car.


Birthday boy Luke hiding from his cake!


Now there's a happy birthday boy!








Tuesday, January 19, 2010

When I grow up...

I think I have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. I know, I know...aren't I already grown up? Thing is, I never really knew what I wanted to do with my life other than I wanted to be a wife and a stay at home mom. I am so blessed to be living that out right now and boy am I thankful! But I never really had any desire to study anything...never felt passionate enough about something that it drove me to want to learn more and get training or schooling. That's all changed tho....I think I have FINALLY found what I want to do when I grow up!
I want to be a doula! Yup, that's right, a doula! Before I had my boys I never knew what a doula was....never even heard of such a thing in fact. When I was pregnant I knew of them but never understood what they did. Finally I did some research and discovered that this is exactly what I want to do!
A doula is a trained labor coach. She is a source of information, support and comfort for a pregnant woman and her spouse. A doula will meet with her clients prior to the birth of their child, be there with them thru the labor and delivery, and even provide postpartum care as well. Some people may wonder why on earth would I want to go thru that experience time and time again when I've already gone thru the birth of my own three boys. Truth is that I want to be a help. Not every woman has a great support system. Not every woman is educated on their birth options. I want to help empower these mothers by helping them know as much as they can about their pregnancy and how they can achieve the birth that they want.
I can honestly say this is the first time I have ever felt so strongly about wanting to do something. It is truly a fire in my heart and I hope I can keep it lit and burning strong to push me on. I am already reading as much as I can to start educating myself. Even reading the little I have I am so encouraged and inspired!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What we did over Christmas break...

We were blessed to have Ed home with us for NINE days between Christmas and New Years! Not only did we have fun relaxing and playing with the boys we were also able to get a few projects done around the house. We were able to redecorate our living room, make the basement a functional area for the boys to play and also rearrange our bedroom. I have pictures posted below of what we accomplished. (Just no pics of the bedroom cause it's not terribly exciting...just moved the furniture around.)

Living room:
Large wall before:
Small window before:
Large front window before:

New drapes on small window:
New drapes on large front window:


Large wall painted and shelves hung!
Close up of the beautiful cross from Shawna.

Close up of shelves on the right:


Close up of shelves on the left:


Basement project...unfortunately we forgot to take some 'before' pictures so it's hard to know how much work was done unless you've seen the basement before.


New shelves from Pat and Ed with our 'store'.

New 'closet' fixture.

Awesome padded floor tiles so the boys can play downstairs!
(Please ignore the boxes...we were still in the process of cleaning up from Christmas!)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back into the swing of things!

Sadly the holiday break is over and today was the day for Ed to go back to work and for me and the boys to get back into our routine. I thought today would be a tough day for the boys seeing how Ed was home for 9 days straight and today he is working one of his long shifts (8a-8p). They surprised me tho and have done very well! We even got back into school today for Will. Today we talked about time and starting to discuss clocks. The lesson suggested getting an analog clock and that's when I realized how the times have changed....I don't have a single analog clock in my house...so we improvised and made our own out of paper! Will had a hard time understanding exactly why when the big hand is on the 1 it means five minutes past...why does it mean five..it's a one! :) Baby steps. He did however understand that 12 could mean noon or midnight and we discussed the differences. Another point of today's lesson was matching and finding differences. Will had to take some large foam circles with cutouts in them and find ones that matched. Then he had to find the shapes that would fit in the cutout portions but they had to be a different color than the large circle. He was quick with this task but still enjoyed it. Of course as soon as Luke saw all the bright colors he started chanting "I play! I play!" So I pulled up a chair and gave him some circles of his own and the little smartie pants was able to put all the right shapes in the correct cutouts! It was cute too because when he's start to put one in an incorrect spot I'd hear him say "Noooooooo" then he'd find the right place.

Now the boys are sitting and giggling at Tom and Jerry...their little treat after doing so great on their first day back in the swing of things!