Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Mothering Tip on What NOT to Do!

My darling Buggy loves her baby dolls. She loves playing Mama and doing things that Mamas do:  nursing babies, changing baby diapers, and wearing babies.

Most recently after a work-out at the gym,  I came to the childcare room to find this:

My sweet Buggy, wearing her baby. I had to chuckle at her complete oblivious nature as she wore her baby. She thought her baby was perfectly safe and happy on her back and not falling out of her seat. Good thing Baby was buckled in!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Choices, Choices

I love our local elementary school. I love the proximity. I love the programs that are offered. There's so many that I can't put Boogie in all the ones I know that he would love because of scheduling!  I especially love his teacher. We totally hit the jackpot with Boogie's kindergarten teacher.  I could not have asked for a better foundation for his elementary schooling...

...Which brings me to what to do about next year. I think that his teacher is so fabulous that they only place to go is getting a teacher who is wonderful, but not incredible, and that alone will be a bit of a let-down. I just found out about the foreign language immersion programs that our district offers and I think it's so flippin' cool and I know that Boogie would love going to any of those school and learning a new language.  I just went to one of the open houses today and I was impressed. If Boogs were to be accepted, it would totally rock all of our worlds in a good way.

However, it's difficult to get into any of the schools. There are only 7 schools who offer foreign language immersion and each school offers only one of the following languages: Spanish, French, or Chinese.  There is a very small, small, small chance Boogie will be able to get into any of them because of the high demand, the small number of seats available, and the luck of the draw.  But I'm thinking, "Why not try?"

There are many factors to consider: distance, accessibility, time, etc.  But I think what Boogs would get in return would outweigh many of those factors.  Of course, there is the very conveniently located and outstanding school that's a 7-minute walk from our home. They also offer foreign language classes, but it's only once a week for part of the year.

Choices, choices.  I will do some more in-depth research on each of the schools and seriously consider the impact on our life. I have to keep in mind that I'll have a preschooler next year and I'll have to shuffle her back and forth to her school. I'll also have a toddler in tow.  I think I'll apply to the programs that are nearest to our home. Even though it would be cool to apply to all 7, if he should get in and we can't make the haul, it's not fair to the others who desperately want to be in the program.

I'm leaving this one in God's hands.  But honestly, either way, Boogie will have a great academic year next year.  I'm just stoked that our county offers so much in resources and so does our local school. I've taught in our county and I don't remember any of my schools offering the variety or number of after school activities that our local school has to offer.  I'm so excited for him and I look forward to what next year will bring.  For Buggy, too, as I start her preschool application process this week!

Ecclesiastes 3:11  He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from the beginning to end. (NIV)

Monday, February 27, 2012

"I Don't Know What to Do!"

"Help! Help! I don't know what to do!" wailed my 5 year old recently.  While I was bustling around the house trying to get everything we need to leave before taking Boogs to school, my youngest was busy pulling things out of the packed snack bag we bring to the gym. He managed to find an open bag of goldfish crackers and fling them around the front hall. He was quite pleased with himself. He loved the sound of the crinkling bag, the rain of goldfish crackers, and how he single handedly added to the decor of the front hall.

My oldest who prefers order and knows that this was a "no-no" was overwhelmed. On his knees by the front door he was wailing about how he didn't know what to do.  I looked at him in frustration and thought:  Have I really been this negligent in your upbringing that you don't know what to do?  Do you really need me to tell you what to do? Just stick them back in the bag!  In the meantime, my middle child sitting next to her big brother says, "Just do this" as she pops a goldfish into her mouth and into her baby brother's mouth. I finally chime in with, "5 second rule, just put them back in the bag!"

In those 5 seconds I caught a glimpse of my children's character:

 My 5 year old is a rule follower.  He has very strong sense of what is just and right.  Most things are black and white and not a lot in between.  He needs to be told what to do and he'll do it.  He looks to me and his father for approval and for permission.  Disappointment goes  a long way for him.

My 3 year old, my middle child, goes with the flow. She's an observer and uses her common sense.  She's never had the luxury of being an only child and always having things done for her. She's usually taught to do something much earlier than when I taught her older brother.  Putting on her jacket, putting on her shoes, dressing herself, cleaning up after herself.  At 3, I sometimes forget that she's not 5. I have a lot of expectations for how she should behave and I forget she's still a munchkin.  She's my more adventurous child, willing to push the boundaries just a bit more than her older brother.

It's very clear in those 5 seconds that I have brought them up a little differently. They each bring something wonderful to the table, but they are different in how they'll approach a problem or situation.  It's in this that I realize that I'll have to guide my oldest to using his common sense and do things on his own. Not always asking how to do it, but to figure it out on his own.  He's, ahem, a lot like his Mama.  Part of it is his birth order, another is just who he is...and he is without a doubt his mother's child.

I think having a little sister is good for him. She teaches him how to look at a problem in a new way with a unique way to solve it.  He brings a little more structure to her adventurous tendencies. Together they make a good team...if only I can get them to work together more often. And, without a doubt, they are totally devoted to their younger brother who is turning into his own little person :)

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
(Proverbs 22:6)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hitting Our Stride

A few months ago my aunt and uncle came by to give me a hand with the house. They straightened up every room in the house. I was impressed with their efficiency and how little was said as they worked together. They had a certain rhythm that complimented one another.  I wondered if Hubby and I would ever hit that stride.

After almost 11 years of marriage and 3 kids later, it looks like Hubby and I might be hitting our stride.  Since he came home from his big project that took him out of state, Hubby and I seem to be working together more efficiently. We're more in tune with each other and as a result our lives seem to be more harmonious...which I'll probably jinx just by writing this post!

In all seriousness, I have been a bit surprised by how smoothly things are going at home. Not that we fought constantly before or things were majorly chaotic. It's just that things seem to easier. There's less hustle and bustle and more of a flow.  Is this mommy becoming less discombobulated?

I think it has helped that our weekends haven't been over scheduled since he's been home.  I had purposely not scheduled anything the last two weekends because I didn't think he'd be home last weekend and this weekend was the weekend he was supposed to arrive home.  Maybe there's something to that. Hmmmmm. Must file that away for future reference.

Maybe it's because we're still in the honeymoon phase of having him home again. We missed each other terribly while he was away and we're still reveling in our family unit being whole once again.

I also have to say that I was less stressed while he was away because my parents helped immensely while he was gone. They literally came over every other day to give me a hand. Whether it was with dinner, bath time, grocery shopping, or a little straightening up, they were here.  I also had the company of great family and friends to keep me moving (Thanks J. and L!). Oh, and I also slept (sortof).  I made it to bed not much after I put the kids down. After the first couple of nights trying to finish that "one last thing" I decided it wasn't worth it and that getting enough sleep would make more of a difference in what was accomplished the next day. Less stress meant that I was able to greet my husband with a happy heart and a smiling face when he arrived home.

In the almost 15 years that we've been together I am more in love with my husband today than I was early in our relationship. There's something to be said for being able to communicate with just an eyebrow raise or the holding of a hand. I'd like to think that "hitting our stride" is attributed to growing in our relationship, being grateful for one another (especially after being apart for 11 days), and to being less critical of one another (which I can be totally guilty of doing, especially with lack of sleep and feeling at my wit's end!). Most of all, God's grace. He knew that my Hubby would be the perfect compliment to my personality and vice versa.  I am blessed.

Here's to at least another 15 years of hitting our stride and growing old together!

Ephesians 4:2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
1 John 4:7  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God

Friday, February 24, 2012


It's the Lenten season once again and this year we are having the kids participate more in the Lenten practices than in years past. Boogs is finally at the age where he starting to understand what it's all about.  Buggy goes with the flow, and well, Mr. Bananas, he's just along for the ride.

On Ash Wednesday you are supposed to fast. Though a Catholic fast is two small meals and one regular sized meal (usually dinner). I grew up with Protestant fasting which is no food (but I think you can have water).  You would think that I should be able to fast, but no. I'm a wimp. I'm an absolute bear when it comes to fasting and in our almost 11 years of marriage I think my husband cringes when he thinks about me fasting because it's certainly no picnic for him when I'm cranky.  Also, for the last 6-7 years I have either been pregnant or nursing a baby and I just didn't think fasting was going to go over well for me or the baby.  This year, however, I gritted my teeth and prepared myself for it.

I found fasting this year much easier, but I think it's because I was already accustomed to taking in fewer calories in order to lose the baby weight. And I made it a priority to stick with it.  So hurrah! Fasting was easier. I was a little cranky at lunch time, but managed to hang in there.

This year as a family we decided to give up television.  Even the kids are on board with this. It took Buggy a few days to understand that we weren't going to watch t.v. at all. But it's day 3 and she hasn't asked about it today.  Boogs tried to convince me that learning shows were okay, but nope, no t.v. And on his own he decided to give up video games. He doesn't play them all that often, but I'm touched that he realizes it's a luxury. When I told him that also meant no Leapster games, he said, "That's okay, Mommy. I can handle it."  I was really, really proud of him.

 I'm really looking forward to this time. I wonder how much more productive I'll be without the distraction of t.v. I'm looking forward to accomplishing more and spending more time as a family playing games, listening to audiobooks, and having more quality time together.

I've also decided to do a spending fast. I'm finding that I have been looking through catalogs, online ads, and Facebook ads and thinking about what I want. Not what I need, but what I want.  I realize that I'm finding it all too easy to say, "Oh, look, that's a great price, I should get that." "Or that's really cute, I'd like that."  Whether or not I actually need those items. So, here's to throwing out my catalogs and deleting advertisements from inbox. Again, I wonder how much more productive I'll be if I'm not lusting after the newest thing or greatest sale.

One of my goals this Lent is also to crochet at least one baby blanket to donate to our Respect Life committee at church or pregnancy center. I hope that with all this extra time away from the t.v., I'll have time to make something for someone else. It will help me to reflect about what is important in our lives right now and to be grateful for what I have. I hope also to spend this time in mediation and prayer.

So, for the first time, I'm looking forward to this time of preparation for Easter. Instead of looking at it with dread and as an obligation, I'm looking at it as an opportunity. An opportunity to better myself, 'cause Lord knows I'm not perfect! An opportunity to share with my children our faith and to help them better understand what we believe and why we believe. An opportunity to give to others. An opportunity to spend more time with husband that doesn't include being couch potatoes in front of the television.

I hope to do with a willing and happy heart. Not always easy. I hope to do this day by day and step by step.

Wishing all of you a peaceful Lenten season.  Peace.

"“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you."
Matthew 6:16-18 ESV

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Helicopter Mama?

A while back, Boogs mentioned that one of the kids in his class told him he didn't want to be friends with him.  I said, "It's okay, Kiddo, you don't have to be friends with everyone."  I get that, not everyone wants to be friends and it's okay.  But I noticed this particular kid at the Halloween party and ever since then, my radar has been up.

At the Halloween party I noticed that when the teacher asked Boogs to line up for the costume parade and had asked him to choose two classmates to join him in line, Boogie chose this particular child.  I saw the child get home, roll his eyes and say, "I knew he was going to choose me. He likes me." And then the kid sighed. Fine, whatever. I let it go, but my radar went up.

Boogie has mentioned this kid several times. And he's said, more than once, that he wanted to be friends with him, but N. didn't want to be friends with him.  But that one time N. let Boogs play with him. Boogie was supposed to pretend he was a baby bird and N. would be the daddy bird. Boogs was supposed to chirp to be "fed" and the daddy bird would fly back and feed him. Well Boogie chirped all through recess and N. only came by at the end to feed him.  Yeah, that's right. My kid sat in one place playing a game while the other kid ran around with other friends during recess and then came at the end. Don't tell me that the other kid didn't know what he was doing, because he so totally did. He's a smart kid.  Strike 2!

But last week my heart broke when Boogie said that he couldn't play with his usual friends because they were playing with N. and N. didn't want to play with Boogs. Then Boogs let it slip that he plays by himself often at recess because all the other kids are playing with N. And what really broke my heart was  when Boogie told me with tears in his eyes, "N. says I'm a little crazy and he's right. I just have so much energy at recess I have to run around.  I've tried everything, but he still doesn't want to be my friend." Okay, kid. Strike 3.  When my son is crying and telling me he's tried everything, we're done. I'm not putting my kid through the "mean girls" routine in kindergarten. It's just not right.

Initially, I did ask Boogs to tell me the characteristics of good friends and then we talked about the kids in his class who had those traits. He was able to name quite a few, but when I asked why he didn't play with them, he said, "Well, they play with N. and he doesn't want to play with me so I can't play with them." Boogie is really good about boundaries and he was having a really difficult time trying to stick with the boundaries that his classmate had set.

So I did it. I spoke to the teacher and set up a conference.  I became that mom. Instead of letting the kids work it out I went to the teacher. Honestly, I felt a little stupid for doing so. I was an elementary teacher. I know that the teacher can't control how the kids think and what they do, especially on the playground. It's impossible. But I did it anyway. When my kid is crying  or telling me that another kid finally "let" him play with him and the other kids then what we've got is a bullying situation going on. Kindergarten is too young to start this bullsh*t.  I won't have it. So I became a bit of a helicopter mama. I swooped in and had a conference with the teacher. I did not tell Boogs what the conference was about. He did not sit in on it. But I wanted strategies for Boogs.

In speaking with the teacher he assured me that it was okay to bring up the issue, because if he doesn't know about it, he can't help to fix it. The guidance counselor will come in and talk about friendship. Mr. S. will role play with the kids. He gave me a few phrases for Boogs to use to stand up for himself.

In speaking with the teacher, I realized that I was afraid the underlying issue was that Boogie was starting to find his self worth in other people. Having been a person who has done that, I do not want my son going through that. At all. Not even a little bit.  Now that I know this, I will work harder to show Boogs that he determines his own self worth. Not other people.

My Boogie Man is a kind hearted soul. He loves his friends and his family. He reminds me to put God first. He is passionate about helping animals, reading, and learning new things. He is just the coolest little guy.

Romans 12:2 

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mr. Bananas Turns 1!

Trying out gingerbread.
With Hubby being gone, I thought I would be able to get so much done after the kids went to bed. But alas, I was so tired every single night that I was in bed well before 10pm.  When Hubby is home he puts the kids to bed. While he's doing that I clean up the house, extra chores, blog, etc. As you can tell, it's been quite a while since my last post.

Hubby came home from his business trip 10 days earlier than expected!!!! We are so excited and have spent the last few days reveling in his presence.  We have spent our time relaxing, visiting a local museum, and just loving that Daddy is back home.

While Hubby was away he missed Mr. Bananas' 1st birthday. We did our best to celebrate this wonderful milestone despite missing an important member of our family.

Playing with the "Little People" Garage set.
Boogie kept trying to tell me that he shouldn't have to go to school on Bananas' birthday because it should be a holiday. After going around and around on this issue, I found out that he was very concerned that we would be celebrating all day without him. Once I convinced him that we would wait until he came home from school, he was happy to go to school. Boog was also very disappointed when Mr. Bananas woke up and came down in a sleeper and sleep sack. Boogs looked at me very seriously and said, "Are you sure he's 1? He still looks like a baby!" Boogs was so looking forward to Mr. Bananas' first birthday and I didn't realize it was because he thought that Mr. B. would be running and talking like a "big boy."

It was a simple night with brinner (breakfast for dinner).  I made gingerbread, eggs, sausage, and bacon.  We had small cupcakes for dessert.  So tired was our little man that he didn't even open his small gift of Thomas' coaches Annie and Clarabel (from the Thomas the Tank Engine Series) until the next day.  We sang and celebrated the first year for our sweet baby.

Happy, happy 1st birthday, Mr. Bananas!
In the last month our little man is becoming clearer with his words. "Up" with raising his arms is very clear.  He also says, "Bye-Bye, Daddy" while waving goodbye. "Ma, ma, ma, ma" is another of my favorites.

He has a mischievous twinkle in his eyes and he squinches up his nose and eyes when I say, "no" as he turns on the DVD player.  I love kissing his neck right under his left cheek.  He loves to curl up in the crook of our necks when he's sleepy.  I love the way his baby butt wiggles when he crawls quickly to catch up with his siblings. He does not like being left behind and will often crawl or fuss to reach them.  He's climbing the stairs and just the other day I found him at the top of the stairs in a downward dog position with his feet on the top step and his arms a step or two below him. Not the ideal position for learning how to get down the stairs. We're now teaching him to slide down on his belly, feet first.  He loves buttons and loves the remote control, the dvd player, and anything that has a button he can push.  He loves sweets and would rather eat a cupcake or a piece of gingerbread.  His favorite pastime is trying to catch our cats' tails.

His sister loves being with him. Though, as time rolls on, I think that Mr. B. will wish he wasn't his sister's guinea pig for dress ups.  Some of the phrases I have heard recently when she's playing with him are:

Bug: Try this on. You look gorgeous!
Bug:  Let's play dress up!

While he laughs and claps and is a good sport, I think things will change as he becomes older ;)

I love everything about this little man.  Well almost everything. I could do without the high piercing shriek he has developed when he wants attention.  But overall I love this little man! I am in awe!

Happy 1st Birthday Mr. Bananas. You make our world a better place. We love you!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Evening up the Score

The day after Hubby left for his trip was rough. The day he left, it was fine. But by 6am the next morning, I felt that I was waaaaaaaay behind.  Bug had woken up around 3am with a wet pull-up that had leaked. Fortunately, if she ever wakes up wet, she automatically changes her pull-up and goes straight back to bed. But if she's leaked, she lets us know and one of us gets up to change her sheets.  At 3am, I was too tired to do it and had her crawl into bed with me after she changed.

I sleep very lightly when Hubby travels, so all 5 times my son woke up to use the bathroom, I also woke up to listen for him and to make sure he made it back to bed alright.  By 5am, Mr. Bananas woke up and I nursed him. By 6am, I put him back in his crib, left Buggy in my bed, and got up to start my day. By this time, I was completely done.  I felt like I dragged all day. It felt like "kids 2, mama 0."

 However, the day was made immensely easier when my mother showed up unexpectedly to pick up Boogie from school. This allowed for the little kids to nap longer and because of her help, they were able to get an extra hour of sleep they so desperately needed. Not only that, Mom took Boogie home with her and offered to take Mr. Bananas while I took Buggy to dance class.  I dropped him off on the way to class and for the first time all day, I felt that I was able to relax and breathe. Bug danced and I crocheted. It was peaceful...except for when she fell and bit her lip hard and bled all over herself. But even then, I was thankful that Mom had the boys and that I could pay attention to Bug when she needed it. She was able to go back to class and finish up.

Mom and Dad met me at my house. They brought over dinner, bathed the kids, and put them to bed.  As awful as the morning started, it ended on a high note. 

That night was better. Boogie got up only once. Bug woke up once, changed her pull-up and went straight back to bed, and Bananas woke up once around 5am to be nursed. All in all, better. Not great, but better.

Thursday night was wonderful! All 3 kids slept through the night and got up at 7:15am. I felt like a new woman on Friday.  It also helped that Boogs had his Spanish class and the little kids were able to nap an extra hour before we picked him up.  We went out to dinner with my parents and then the big kids went home with them for a sleepover. Bananas and I came home and he went to bed immediately. He did not sleep as well as he had the night before, but I noticed that he's getting his molars in, so that could be it.

We are still missing Daddy a lot but with my parents help, it's been easier than I had expected.  It also helps that technology has come a long way since I was a kid and my dad went out to sea.  The kids get to see Daddy through Face Time, and he's sent us videos of him singing the good night song, and our good morning song. The kids love seeing him.  When he called yesterday afternoon, Bug jumped up and down and yelled, "DADDY!!!!!  Face time! Woo hoo! Face Time, Woo hoo!!!!!"  If that isn't a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is!

The big kids are spending the morning with my parents. They're supposed to go out for a movie and lunch and come back for naps.  I've been able to relax a little, plan out the day, blog, and eat breakfast.  It's been nice. I look forward to seeing them this afternoon. I no longer feel it's "kids 2, Mama 0." I think we might have evened up the score with Lolo and Lola's help. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I Miss Daddy

Hubby left this morning for his 2-3 week out of town project.  He's been working so hard the last few months. He's been on a lot of business trips and has had to work late nights, especially the last few weeks.  As a result he has not seen the kids as much as he would like to see them.  It's been hard on me and the kids, too.

We spent this past weekend spending as much family time as we could in a 72-hour time span. Fortunately, Hubby was able to spend some time with the kiddos this morning before he left.  They enjoyed seeing him.  When Buggy woke up, she walked in my room where I was folding laundry and asked, "Where's Daddy?"  I told her he was downstairs and she flew out of the room, yelling, "Daddy!" Hubby was already half way up the stairs when they met. I wish I had my camera because the next scene was adorable. Hubby was a few steps down from Bug and she leaned in to give him a hug. They were eye-to-eye and in that hug so much was said. I could see Hubby close his eyes as he held his little girl and it was if he was savoring this moment and Buggy was holding on as tight as she could as if to say, "I'm safe and I don't want you to go."

Hubby helped with breakfast and getting the kids to change their clothes for the morning.  We finished our usual routines really early and we had a few extra minutes to pray over Daddy.  We prayed, we sang, we got one more kiss and hug.

Buggy with her lovies
When Daddy's car pulled away, Boogs collapsed onto the grass and Buggy fell apart. She was trying to put on mittens, but they didn't go on the way she wanted and she lost it and begged for her blanket.  As I put the baby in the stroller for our walk to school, Bugs went upstairs to grab her lovies.  She came back with a blanket and two stuffed animals. She would have grabbed more, but this is all her little arms could carry. She asked to bring them on our walk and she sat in the stroller all the way to school and on the way back.  Before Boogie went into his school, he gave each of us a kiss. He usually fusses about having to give his sister a kiss, but I think he knew how much it would mean to her and I think he needed it, too. We all need to feel a little more connected to one another as we figure out how to function as a family of four for a few weeks.

At one point, Bug looked at me and said, "I miss Daddy. I wish he didn't have to go to work." Me, too, Baby. Me, too.

I read the following verse during my quiet time this morning:
Psalm 18:2 
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

It came at the right time.  I'm missing my husband.  Please forgive me if I don't answer phone calls, e-mails, or messages. I'm doing all that I can to keep things humming along and I have so much that I'm doing that I just.can' I'd like to think I was stronger, but I'm not. It takes all my energy to make sure that things continue to go smoothly while Hubby is away, to the point of exhaustion.

If you think of it, please say a prayer for me that I may have patience, grace, and energy when I interact with my children. They're hurting right now as they miss their daddy.  Please pray for my children and for my husband that he may have safe travels and comes home to us safely. Thank you.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Caring For Ourselves

As the new year approached I found myself sitting with my two best girlfriends having our own after Christmas celebration with our families. A tradition we have held for most of the last 10 years.  
While our husbands took the kids to the park, we took the time to catch up and fill each other in our lives. As we chatted I found that we each had the same dilemma of finding time for everyone  and everything else but ourselves.  It was leaving us drained, exhausted, frustrated, and irritable. We had been neglecting ourselves and our time with each other so that we could devote our time and energy to our spouses, children, extended families, and the overwhelming number of volunteer activities.  Not that any of those things are unworthy of our time. They certainly are worthy. But I have found from my personal experience, that I can be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend when I have taken some time for myself.
Taking time away from the “to do” list,  and letting go of my perception of perfection is my gift to me. It’s waking up earlier than everyone else and spending time with a mug of tea, my Bible/devotional and spending time praying for the people in my life. When I pray for others I find an inner peace that helps me prepare for the day.  But when I don’t take that time my day is too hurried and chaotic.

In taking an informal survey amongst friends, I asked what ways can we take care of ourselves. Here are some suggestions:

--Letting yourself read a book or work on a craft project even if everything isn’t perfect (Rosann)
--Redefine personal time: a nap here, five minutes with a book there, a call to a friend (Becky)
--Make a list of things that bring you joy and try to do one or experience one a day (ex. fresh flowers, warm jammies, special food) (Erin)
---Give time to things that make you happy and try to share that happiness with others. In that way, you are able to take care of yourself and develop inner growth (Sham)
--Make two things a priority for yourself:  Sleep and exercise, in that order. Then everything will pretty much fall into place (Alison)
--Think about the silly things that brought you joy as a teenager like dancing in front of the mirror lip synching to Madonna and do it again and laugh (Felicia)
--Saying "no" sometimes to others and not letting yourself feel guilty because it really IS okay to NOT do everything and give yourself a break sometimes. I think that is HUGE when I think of "self care."  Oh and having gratitude, prayer time, and time reflecting on God's awesome creation and our many blessings! (Kelly)
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.       (Matthew 11:28)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Warm Winter Weather

We've had some crazy weather. The last two days it has been above 60 degrees. That's just nuts for our region. We usually have some snow by now.  It's been really, really warm.

We took advantage of the warm weather yesterday and the kids pulled out their bike helmets and glided and tricycled around our cul-de-sac. Our next door neighbors and our backyard neighbors were outside also and it was so nice to see the kids playing together. It's something that I always wanted when we moved into our neighborhood. A safe place for my kids to play with their neighborhood friends. It seems like we got it.

The kids get along fairly well and I'm getting to know my next door neighbor better. I figure with the way the housing market is going, we'll be in this house for the rest of our lives so it's good to make friends with the neighbors.

After experiencing blizzards the last two years I thought I would be over snow. But I gotta tell ya, I wouldn't mind a little of the white stuff. Our Winter doesn't seem complete without one good snowman gracing our yard or a good slide down a sledding hill.

Winter's not over yet, maybe there's still a chance :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Hello Friend!

I can't believe my sweet baby will be turning a year old this month.  He's growing so big. Just last Friday he learned to climb the stairs and I had to pull out the gate and block him. My, he's quick!

I found these photos I took of him one night. He found his reflection on the back sliding glass door.  He was kissing his new "friend" and very excited to see someone waving back at him. My goofy boy!

And here are kisses for you...

Hi Friend! Do you want to come in?