Family Photo

Family Photo

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

One of Those Days

It's been one of those know the kind that at the end of you just need to sit on the couch with a gallon of Ben and Jerry's ice cream and sulk...yup it's one of those days.

After my day at work, I went to pick up my munchkins at Bup and Guck's house. But, of course, Noah decided that he wanted to be a little monster and was not going to go home without fighting me on everything I asked him to do. He was embarrassingly rude and by the time I finally got him in the car, I was ready to drop him off with the next person I saw walking down the street. He whined the whole way home, and once at home, he whined about having to eat dinner. I tried to be nice to my hubby despite my my son's behavior, but was not successful and I felt terribly guilty for being so mean. As I started dinner, my head felt like it was about to explode from whining overload. By this time, Noah was whining because I would not give him orange juice and Maia was whining because I would not let her cook with me. She managed to climb onto the stool in the kitchen to try to see what I was cooking and proceeding to fall off the stool just as quickly as she got up. Instead of being worried about her and checking to see if she was okay, I single-handedly won the award for the world's worst mother when I rolled my eyes and said, "You've got to be kidding me!"

So who wants to bring me a gallon of ice cream to celebrate my award?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I've Got a Plan!

As you know, my life has been completely consumed by Dave Ramsey as of late. We are budgeting and after one month have seen amazing results. However the key to success for this whole program is planning. So, I've become a plan Nazi! I have a plan for everything and I now have dreams about planning and all my day dreams consist of coming up with new plans.
My favorite new plan besides a budget is my meal plan. I have found that if I make a meal plan for 2 to 4 weeks, then I can plan my grocery list and spend less money. I am prepared and never find myself with empty cupboards at inconvenient times which used to force me to go out to eat and spend money that I did not have. I also am noticing that by not eating out, I eat less unhealthy food and smaller portions.

The other great thing about this meal plan and not eating out is that I am forced to be creative in my cooking. I am enjoying the challenge and I just feel like a better mom and wife.

So, the moral of the story is to make a plan and stick to it and good things will happen!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Swerving Car

Whenever I have the kids in the car, 70% of my drive is spent with my eyes not on the road. I am usually fiddling with the radio to get the right song on that will please both kids, or picking up a water cup or food item or toy that has dropped, or scolding a child etc. Many times as I am attempting to be Gumby, stretching my arm to the opposite side of the back seat to pick up a lost item that a child is screaming over, I find myself veering into the adjacent lane and having to quickly adjust the steering wheel to avoid an accident in the knick of time. I am a disaster waiting to happen. I always fear that those cars around me will think that I am driving under the influence and will call the Cops on me.

But, today, I was encouraged about my poor driving habits. I noticed an SUV swerving on the freeway this morning on my way to work. As I studied what was going on the inside of the car, I noticed a father looking into the backseat and talking sternly to his child, then he did the famous Gumby reach into the opposite side of the back seat and handed the retreived item to the child all while utterly failing to keep his car in his lane. As soon as he was able to face forward again, he looked in all his mirrors as if to see what the the reactions of all the drivers around him would be and to check if anyone was calling the police on him.

I wanted to pull up next to him and give him a high five and say, "Hey, I know you're not drunk! You've just got kids!"

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tid Bits From Maia Belle

Here are some of Maia's daily sayings...she repeats these things about 4 to 10 times per day...

1.) "Last time, Maia true up at caaaa-bin." (Last time, Maia threw up at the cabin)
2.) "Last time, Maia true up in Bamma's car." (Last time, Maia threw up in Grandma's car)
3.) "I toot!" (I farted)
4.) "I be bite back." (I'll be right back)
5.) "I don't want to do dat."
6.) "Mommy, sing 'uh-oh never wet go of Maia' wike church."(Sing the worship song, "Oh No You Never Let Go," and add Maia's name at the end.)
7.) "No mommy, I don't wanna panking." (I don't want a spanking)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Quarter Cup of Coffee

When I wake up in the morning the first thing I want to do is make a steaming hot cup of butter toffee coffee in my Keurig coffee maker and sit down in my rocking chair with my Bible. However, because I have a small house, small children, and a loud coffee maker, I cannot enjoy my coveted cup of coffee until the kids wake up. Instead, I enjoy my Bible reading sans the caffeine, then I get myself ready, then I get the kids up, warm their milk, let them make my coffee, drink two sips, take Noah potty, pack their lunches, pack their diaper bag, get them dressed, drink two more sips of coffee, turn on a movie for them, make them breakfast, feed them breakfast, take another sip of coffee realize it is cold spit it out and put my coffee in the microwave for a minute, while it is warming I break up a fight, change a poop diaper, brush the kids' teeth, go through the process of picking a toy to take to Bup's house, gather all our stuff, beg the kids to hurry up and get down the stairs, and head out the door.

My precious cup of coffee is forgotten until late in the evening at the kids' bed time. When I find it, I see that it is three quarters full and I have to throw it down the sink and bid it farewell promising to one day drink an entire cup. My husband makes fun of my coffee habits but this is what happens when you are a mommy of 2 toddlers. At this season of my life, coffee is not to be enjoyed, it is to be drunk in sips at a fast pace in between mommy tasks!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My Valentine

I am the luckiest girl alive! I scored the best husband in the world. We've been together for 11 years now and I can honestly say that I am more in love with him today than ever. Because of him, I understand Christ's love for me. Daily my husband puts my needs and desires before his own. He is so selfless, it makes me feel guilty sometimes! I am honored that he chose me to be his wife and I thank God every day for the blessing of my hubby. Happy Valentine's Day babe! (The funny part is that Ricky never reads my blog, so he won't ever even see this, but I felt like I had to put Happy Valentine's Day in there since it's Valentine's Day tomorrow!)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pacifier Diaries

As we have said farewell to the beloved "night-nights" in our household we have had some interesting moments. Here are a few things I have learned through this process that I wanted to share with those of you who are preparing to go through this process soon...

1) The first 24 hours are hell on earth. You will be sleep deprived, over emotional, and everything will be really dramatic! For example, Noah was acting up really bad that day and I had to issue three spankings and like 5 time outs. Instead of just attributing this to change and deeming it a temporary phase, I convinced myself that my son would be in jail at 18 all because I took his pacifiers away. I actually cried over this thought.

2)You will get desperate and will forget to feel bad for your child and instead threaten him with ridiculous things when you get sick of him crying and whining for his pacifier for the 100th time that day. Don't feel bad about these threats, they work. Exhibit A: It was bed time and I had sung to Noah and rubbed his back for 30 minutes and finally told him that it was now time for him to go to sleep. As soon as I left the room, he began to scream and cry as though someone was torturing him. I thought I would pull out the old "let him cry it out" method but after 15 minutes, my ears hurt and I was developing an eye twitch, not to mention Maia was trying to fall asleep in the same room so I intervened. I barged into the room and firmly warned him that the police were on their way to pick him up and take him to jail unless he stopped crying. He begged me to not let them take him, stopped crying, and fell asleep 5 minutes later.

3) Prepare ahead of time for the questions they will ask about where their pacifiers went or you will end up having to come up with some crazy story on the spot. Exhibit B: Ricky and I have always had this aversion to making our kids believe in Santa, Easter Bunny, or Tooth Fairy for a few reasons that I won't get into here, but the most prominent one is that we feel weird about lying to our kids (just ignore the fact that I lied to Noah in point #2 about the police). So, we just had Noah throw his pacifiers in the trash instead of doing the pacifier fairy thing. Well, on the way to Bup's house on Tuesday morning, Noah had a light bulb moment. His face lit up as the thought entered his head and he said, "Mommy, Bup has night-nights for me at her house!" Oh shoot! I was not prepared for this. "No buddy, she doesn't. They're all gone," I replied. "Where did they go, mommy?" Quick, think fast! I don't want to make Bup look bad by saying she threw them away. I can't do the pacifier fairy thing. I can't lie...ummmm... "Well, they knew that you were a big boy now and they disappeared!" He was not satisfied, "Where did they go?" Ay yaiy yaiy, here comes the lies, "They disappeared and flew away to the babies who need them. They knew you were a big boy and that you didn't need them any more. They went to the babies' houses who need night nights, like Baby Ava."
This ridiculous lie, seemed to satisfy him and he was okay with Bup not having night nights for him. But the moral of the story is to BE PREPARED to discuss where night-nights go when they "die!"
In case you are wondering how he is doing now, I am please to report that he is not in jail and I know that I have not permanently wounded him emotionally as he is just fine now. He sleeps through the night, falls asleep within 15 minutes of going to bed, and is down to only asking for his "night nights" once a day. Woo hoo!

I'm On a Budget

I am sitting here at my desk at work on my lunch break eating my salad that I packed from my house and sulking because I couldn't go to lunch with all the office ladies to celebrate a birthday.
Why? I'm on a budget...a real one this time. I could have gone and just not ordered anything, but I don't have the will power yet.
Even as I am sitting here sulking, I am rejoicing in the fact that I am not out spending $15.00 that I should be spending on something else. This whole budget thing has been quite eye opening for me. I've seen that although I've never done credit cards, I still spend frivolously. As I have begun to track my money, I am shocked at how much I save by being self-controlled and by planning in advance. So, my goal is to get everyone I can to go through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, it will change your life and bring you freedom (even if you do have moments of sulking at your desk at work). My other goal is to be debt free in 3 years (besides our house). That is a lofty goal for us as we have mounds of school loan debt and business loan debt, but I know that if we are committed and self controlled, we will be free in 3 years; free to spend our income on things we want to do, free to go on vacations, free to bless our kids, and mostly free to give generously to our church and those in need.
Check out your local church to see if they offer Dave Ramsey's class and also check out this DF3 blog for tips on how to budget and encouragement to stay on course.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

No Pacifier = Pain

I am sitting on my computer on the verge of tears all over pacifiers being thrown in the trash.

Yesterday evening while I was church, I received a text from Ricky saying that Noah decided that he wanted to be a "big boy" and throw all his "night-nights" in the trash. WHAT?! I was not prepared for this...did Ricky understand that this would mean no sleep for days? Did he know that there was no going back? Did he know that we hadn't discussed our plan of action in detail yet? Did he know that I had not put my "emotional armor" on yet? I was not ready for this! WHY ON EARTH would he let Noah do this?
After church I called and asked what had happened and he said that Noah decided he wanted a Cranky toy more than his night-nights so he just got them out of his crib, threw them in the trash and said, "Where is my Cranky?" I explained to my hubby that there was no turning back now, which he totally did not understand. But, he agreed to go about things my way. So, we went to the store as a family and bought Noah his toy and made a big deal out of the whole thing.
At bed time, Noah took 2 hours to fall asleep. It was torture for me to watch him long for his security and his comfort. He was just so restless. At 12:30 a.m., he cried for me. At 1:19 he asked for his night-nights. At At 3:29 a.m., he asked me to sing to him. At 5:00 a.m. he said that he didn't want Cranky anymore, he just wanted his night-nights. At 5:15 a.m. he cried again. At 5:35 a.m. he whined and moaned. At 5:55 a.m., he cried for daddy. At 6:00 a.m. I finally got him up and we watched a movie.
I am physically and emotionally exhausted. Whenever he has been disobedient today, I've blamed it on myself for taking away his security, his night-nights. I know this is not true but I feel awful. It's my own fault for letting him have them for so long. The doctor told me to take them away when he turned 1 but I didn't listen.
Right now is nap time and he is crying for his night-nights. He is so tired but he can't seem to fall asleep without them. I am a wreck. If I go in his room and see his big tears, I might just run to the store and get him a pacifier.
I know that I will look back at this moment later and think how silly it was to be so emotional over a pacifier, but right now it feels like the end of the world.

Ricky just got Noah to fall asleep by rubbing his back. I am going to go enjoy what is sure to be a short nap time...

Pray for me...

Throw Elmo Away

We have been prepping Noah for the day that he will be done with his "night-nights" (pacifiers). I am planning to have him throw them away when he turns three and I tell him that I will buy him a Cranky Toy (crane from Thomas the Train) as a reward. I also have been telling him that throwing away his night-nights is the first step to being able to go to pre-school which he always seems to get really excited about.
Today, on our way home from church, I was having this conversation with him about becoming a big boy, throwing away his night-nights, getting a Cranky, and going to school. Out of nowhere Maia looks at me and says, "I be a big goo-low (girl) and get a Thomas and go to skoo and throw my Elmo away?" I was amazed. I cannot believe that little girl is only one and that she understands and grasps concepts the way that she does. I have never mentioned her throwing Elmo away or getting her a Thomas toy but she figured if it applied to Noah then it would apply to her as well.
I told her that she didn't have to worry about throwing Elmo away any time soon!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Time out

"Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death." Proverbs 19:18
I love that verse. I read it in my quiet time this past week and it is what gets me through the day sometimes! It is pretty straight forward: if you discipline your children, they have the potential to have a great life. If we don't discipline, then we are a willing party (contributor) to their death.
Today, my sister-in-law asked if I ever go a day without putting a kid in time out. The answer is NO! As a matter of fact today consisted of a total of 7 time outs and 3 spankings. I think that's just to be expected when you've got 1 kid in the terrible twos and one kid learning how to be a terrible two from the 2 year old. There is one positive aspect to this whole discipline thing: seeing the differences in my children in how they take their punishment.
Noah is complete drama. He will scream at the top of his lungs, cry, whine and make everyone in the house miserable for the duration of his time out sentence.
Maia, on the other hand will try to weasel her way out by saying, "My butt hurts," or "I've got poop." When we tell her to lie on her belly if her butt hurts, she will then say, "My belly hurts." When we respond with, "No, it doesn't," she gives up her battle and takes her time out sentence like a champ, sitting quietly and inspecting my dirty carpet for old food remnants or lint balls. She is so good in time out that I often forget she is there and feel awful when I remember 7 minutes later.

Nerd Alert

So I've been absent this week due to a Dave Ramsey and the website Our Bible Study Group has decided to go through the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University course and I am now totally obsessed with budgeting. Every free second I get I am on the website checking on my funds and making sure we are within budget. I may be driving my husband crazy because I use the phrase, "Dave Ramsey says..." about 10 times a day.
I must say that we have always been pretty good with money management however, this course has challenged us to be even better and more structured. I am so excited about being on the road to financial freedom and honoring God with our finances!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Princess Poop

Today, I was in the kids' room putting laundry away (miraculous, I know) when I heard a very alarmed, worried, and disturbed Maia say, "Daddy, my piss-ess chair has poop." He asked her to repeat herself because he was not sure he understood. "My piss-ess chair has POOP! I show you." By this time she was almost in tears and I came out to see what was going on. I asked, "Did you go poop while sitting in your princess chair? Can I check your diaper?" She adamantly responded, "NO!" So we let her take us to her princess chair to show us what she was talking about. She took us to the chair and said, "See? Poop."

I did what any good mom would do, I inspected the questionable object closely, performed a sniff test, and took a picture. I still do not know what it was, but I do know that it was not poop! I cleaned it up and now Maia's "piss-ess" chair is poop free. Ahhh, the life of a mom!